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From the Number Tours for Curious Kids series

Counts as a lively and unusual approach to the subject.

From head to toe, Berne takes it by the numbers.

The author, who’s been a number lover since she was small, begins with a big one—30 trillion, the approximate number of cells in the human body—and proceeds to toss around more, from the 206 bones in an adult body to our 10-ounce hearts, which pump blood through 60,000 miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries. Though she skips over the reproductive and certain other body systems, in general her specific numbers and ballpark figures are credible. Many come with imaginative comparisons that make the larger ones at least somewhat easier to grasp, such as “1,500 pounds (lbs.) of food is like eating a medium-sized camel.” In loose, casual drawings and schematic views, Sokol helps out by unwinding intestines (25 feet) against the wall of a two-story house, stacking pennies representing cells in piles that reach the moon, and posting simplified but labeled images of lungs, a skeleton, an inner ear, and other anatomical bits. Before finishing off with additional, less number-centric facts about body parts and showing readers how to take personal measurements, Berne brings her selective tour of body systems to a close with a final, entirely comprehensible number: “We are 1 people, 1 species, 1 family” living on “1 home.” Racially diverse, fleshed-out human figures in the pictures drive home that sense of kinship.

Counts as a lively and unusual approach to the subject. (author’s note, sources, resources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781662670152

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 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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