Clever, complex, yet concise and fun: This guide promises to engage language learners and curious readers.

THE HANMOJI HANDBOOK

YOUR GUIDE TO THE CHINESE LANGUAGE THROUGH EMOJI

A visual manual employs digital-age symbols to introduce one of the world’s oldest living forms of writing.

Leveraging widely recognizable and pictographic emoticons, this innovative work appeals to humans’ language instinct and innate playfulness, dismantling potential psychological barriers when approaching something that may feel difficult or inaccessible. The colorful and icon-filled design creates explicit connections between Hanzi—Chinese characters—and emoji, enticing readers to browse and explore together with the anthropomorphic porcine narrator, Jiji, whose profile shows the emoji representing his hanmoji name, Snout Snout. Comparing Hanzi with other logographic languages including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian, and Mayan, the contents inform and intrigue regardless of one’s prior knowledge of the Chinese language. How might two tree emojis make the word forest? How many spoken language groups and written forms does Chinese currently have? (Answer: 10 and two, respectively) And what is a tonal language? Using crisp layouts, thoughtful descriptions and examples, and illustrated charts, this comprehensive primer entertains while explicating a high-context language family without overgeneralizing or oversimplifying. It also incorporates Chinese culture and philosophy and educates readers about the history and process of emoji creation, among other topics. Through their broad, comparative approach, the savvy creators also demonstrate the hybridity and constantly evolving nature of languages in general.

Clever, complex, yet concise and fun: This guide promises to engage language learners and curious readers. (bibliography, index, image credits) (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1913-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: MITeen Press/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Necessary for every library, personal or otherwise.

THE WAY THINGS WORK NOW

As fresh and funny as ever, a classic compendium of physics in action gets a light but needed makeover.

Most of the “Things” here are still working the way they did back in 1988, 1998, and 2004, when the original and the revised editions dropped—but along with sporting new and spruced-up colors, some of the content, notably the section dubbed “The Digital Domain,” has been brought into the 21st century. Thus, the space shuttle and the VCR are no more, the workings of the telephone have been replaced by those of smartphones and telephone networks, and the jump jet has given way to the quadcopter and other types of drones. But the details that made the earlier editions delightful as well as edifying remain. In the illustrations, flights of tiny angels move the “first whoopee cushion” into place, discombobulated woolly mammoths get caught up in silly side business while helping to demonstrate scientific principles, and best of all, Macaulay’s brilliantly designed, engagingly informal diagrams and cutaways bring within the grasp of even casual viewers a greater understanding of the technological wonders of both past and present.

Necessary for every library, personal or otherwise. (index) (Reference. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-82438-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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