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A little-known female artist receives well-deserved attention.

An artist’s remarkable work brought undersea life to wide public notice.

German immigrant and artist Else Bostelmann (1882-1961) painted life under the ocean while working for renowned marine scientist William Beebe; while taking part in expeditions for the New York Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society) in the 1930s, he dove beneath waters off the coast of Bermuda in a bathysphere. Few had investigated the mysterious world under the seas; fewer still had painted it. Else B., as she was known, not only painted the glorious plants and bioluminescent animals found beneath the ocean but, wearing a copper helmet, took her art supplies (steel pencils, zinc plates) underwater with her to record the magical, almost unimaginable world below. The extraordinary images she produced, published in National Geographic magazine during the Depression, were well worth it. The book pays homage to some of Bostelmann’s beautiful, detailed, accurate paintings. Stacey’s conceptualizations of them, rendered in gouache, watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil, are lovely; the backmatter includes reproductions of Else’s art. The works are dazzling and convey how extraordinary undersea life is. The text isn’t quite as captivating, though readers will likely be interested in how Else fared underwater and what she discovered during her explorations. Unfortunately, some terms used in the text are neither defined nor pronounced for readers’ benefit.

A little-known female artist receives well-deserved attention. (author’s note, more information on topics explored in the book, math conversion table, map of Bermuda and environs, photo of Else Bostelmann, selected sources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9781949480283

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron Kids

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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From the Over and Under series

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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