A thorough, detailed compendium of most everything readers will want and need to know about being in the outdoors.

HIKING AND CAMPING

THE DEFINITIVE INTERACTIVE NATURE GUIDE

From the Outdoor School series

The subtitle of this book presents a hard challenge to live up to, but this guide manages it.

Divided into five main sections—“Planning and Preparation,” “Hiking,” “Set Up Camp,” “Flora and Fauna,” and “Survival”—each subject area contains chapters that impart the specific skills and knowledge needed for readers to feel comfortable and confident in the outdoors. Skills such as fire-building, finding your direction with the sun and stars, using a compass, knowing what to pack, first aid, birding, identifying plants, recognizing animal tracks, understanding geology, and many others are presented in short, engaging snippets. These extensively color-illustrated informational segments covering the geographic regions of the U.S. are followed by activities labeled “Try It,” “Track It,” and “Take It to the Next Level” that present readers with hands-on opportunities to practice their newly learned skills as well as space to write down notes. With its metal-bound cover corners, a sewn rather than glued binding, and printed rulers—in both inches and centimeters—on the back cover, this is a book designed to be taken into the outdoors and used. The writing is engagingly informative and accurate without being overwhelming. Backmatter includes a list of 101 achievements to track that will help give a concrete sense of accomplishment, boosting confidence.

A thorough, detailed compendium of most everything readers will want and need to know about being in the outdoors. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-adult)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23084-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Odd Dot

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Worthy of a superhero.

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EL DEAFO

A humorous and touching graphic memoir about finding friendship and growing up deaf.

When Cece is 4 years old, she becomes “severely to profoundly” deaf after contracting meningitis. Though she is fitted with a hearing aid and learns to read lips, it’s a challenging adjustment for her. After her family moves to a new town, Cece begins first grade at a school that doesn’t have separate classes for the deaf. Her nifty new hearing aid, the Phonic Ear, allows her to hear her teacher clearly, even when her teacher is in another part of the school. Cece’s new ability makes her feel like a superhero—just call her “El Deafo”—but the Phonic Ear is still hard to hide and uncomfortable to wear. Cece thinks, “Superheroes might be awesome, but they are also different. And being different feels a lot like being alone.” Bell (Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, 2012) shares her childhood experiences of being hearing impaired with warmth and sensitivity, exploiting the graphic format to amplify such details as misheard speech. Her whimsical color illustrations (all the human characters have rabbit ears and faces), clear explanations and Cece’s often funny adventures help make the memoir accessible and entertaining. Readers will empathize with Cece as she tries to find friends who aren’t bossy or inconsiderate, and they’ll rejoice with her when she finally does. An author's note fleshes out Bell's story, including a discussion of the many facets of deafness and Deaf culture.

Worthy of a superhero. (Graphic memoir. 8 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1020-9

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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