Missing a few how-to tidbits but gorgeous and visually inspirational.

READ REVIEW

PLAYING WITH COLLAGE

Inspiration and education for making collages at home.

Collage artist Baker combines suggestions about process and materials with representations of her own finished pieces to tempt readers into the creative world of collage. Photographs showing a technique of brushing glue onto a surface and then pressing sand onto it are just as beguiling as sumptuous spreads of “kitchen materials” (eggshell, spices, seeds, herbs), “nature materials” (lichen, leaves, grasses, barks), and “beach materials” (driftwood, bleached bones, tumbled glass, gravel, shells). Baker’s own finished collages, reproduced in Plaza’s photographs, are colorful and brimming with textures. Most are abstract, though one of sky and clouds features a gorgeous use of corrugated cardboard to represent a window. The inspiration here lies in the photographs’ glossy beauty, the vast options laid out for materials, and the ideas for conceptual process. There’s no exact instruction about how to glue such unwieldy stuff as fungi, sea sponge, or “marine gastropod eggs,” and although the text guides budding artists to avoid “anything still living,” information for discerning what’s alive must be sought elsewhere. The target audience’s age is fluid: Suggestions to use scalpels, superglue, and a light box—plus a suggestion to build a plywood frame—imply older readers than do notes to secure adult supervision when using plain scissors. Some recommended techniques take two to three weeks.

Missing a few how-to tidbits but gorgeous and visually inspirational. (introduction) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0539-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick Studio

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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