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From the How Do? series

Insufficient as a stand-alone volume; pair with hands-on demonstrations to avoid frustration.

Various architectural innovations are featured in this science picture book for children.

Bridges are presented on one spread, with two paragraphs of text opposite a diagram that labels parts but does not show how the forces (“tension” and “compression”) are acting on those parts. The sentences are long, and basic technical terms (such as “pressure”) are not defined, so younger children who are not precocious will need older readers to explain the meaning of the text. Other engineering designs presented in the book are lock chambers for moving boats up and down, column-and-beam structures, and arches, with the Colosseum as an example. The illustrations throughout are drawn on graph paper; filling out the compositions are diverse figures who demonstrate and observe, models of the architecture, and pencils, rulers, protractors, and books. The companion volume, How Do Seesaws Go Up and Down?, presents such simple machines as a wheel and axle, a fixed pulley, an inclined plane, a screw, and a wedge. Again, terms are not defined, and diagrams are of limited use, so the explanations may confuse younger readers. These books can be a decent starting point for deeper investigations, but they do not meet the promise of the titles.

Insufficient as a stand-alone volume; pair with hands-on demonstrations to avoid frustration. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1485-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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In this glossy photo essay, the author briefly recounts the study and exploration of the moon, beginning with Stonehenge and concluding with the 1998–99 unmanned probe, Lunar Prospector. Most of the dramatic photographs come from NASA and will introduce a new generation of space enthusiasts to the past missions of Project Mercury, Gemini, and most especially the moon missions, Apollo 1–17. There are plenty of photographs of various astronauts in space capsules, space suits, and walking on the moon. Sometimes photographs are superimposed one on another, making it difficult to read. For example, one photograph shows the command module Columbia as photographed from the lunar module and an insert shows the 15-layer space suit and gear Neil Armstrong would wear for moonwalking. That’s a lot to process on one page. Still, the awesome images of footprints on the moon, raising the American flag, and earthrise from the moon, cannot help but raise shivers. The author concludes with a timeline of exploration, Web sites, recommended books, and picture credits. For NASA memorabilia collectors, end papers show the Apollo space badges for missions 11–17. Useful for replacing aging space titles. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-57091-408-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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Thousands of years ago, the Komodo dragon may have inspired dragon legends in China and beyond. In more recent times, researchers from all over the world have traveled to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia to study the Komodo dragon. This lively if somewhat haphazardly organized account focuses on the efforts of contemporary researchers, presents some of their cooler findings (female dragons can reproduce through parthenogenesis; their saliva is laced with deadly bacteria) and profiles a few captive specimens. Mostly color photographs from a variety of sources adorn almost every page, and captions add to the information. Learning about the Komodo dragon is not for the faint of heart, and the photos show the wild beasts in all their gory glory. The extensive backmatter includes brief facts about Indonesia, more information on the Komodo dragon life cycle and its use of smell and conservation information. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Komodo Survival Program. (bibliography, further reading, glossary, websites, index, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-757-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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