Next book



From the Books for a Better Earth series

Must-reading on a hot topic.

Insights into how plants and animals control, survive, and recover from wildfires.

Thanks to climate change and the U.S. Forest Service’s shortsighted Smokey the Bear campaign, massively devastating wildfires are becoming ever more common—but, as Stremer astutely explains, nature itself has mechanisms in place for mitigating the damage and even benefiting from fire. So, along with describing how fires actually help lodgepole pines and certain beetles reproduce, she notes how some trees are protected by their bark and naturally prune lower-hanging branches to make it harder for ground fires to reach the canopy; she also notes how both goats and beavers serve to make woodlands generally less flammable. The author surveys ways in which wild fauna respond to fires, how livestock and zoo animals are evacuated, and, in a chapter headed by a trigger warning, how badly injured creatures are (when possible) rescued and treated. After retracing the natural stages of post-fire regrowth, she closes with general accounts of how controlled burns are managed and of wilderness firefighters in training and action; she caps it all off with bountiful source notes, citations, and resource lists. Crisp, drama-heightening photos of smoky or burned-out woodlands and of heavily equipped firefighters (racially ambiguous due to angle or distance) are interspersed with Garland’s handsome painted images of flora and fauna.

Must-reading on a hot topic. (glossary, bibliography, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9780823454426

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Next book


The author of The Snake Scientist (not reviewed) takes the reader along on another adventure, this time to the Bay of Bengal, between India and Bangladesh to the Sundarbans Tiger Preserve in search of man-eating tigers. Beware, he cautions, “Your study subject might be trying to eat you!” The first-person narrative is full of helpful warnings: watch out for the estuarine crocodiles, “the most deadly crocodiles in the world” and the nine different kinds of dangerous sharks, and the poisonous sea snakes, more deadly than the cobra. Interspersed are stories of the people who live in and around the tiger preserve, information on the ecology of the mangrove swamp, myths and legends, and true life accounts of man-eating tigers. (Fortunately, these tigers don’t eat women or children.) The author is clearly on the side of the tigers as she states: “Even if you added up all the people that sick tigers were forced to eat, you wouldn’t get close to the number of tigers killed by people.” She introduces ideas as to why Sundarbans tigers eat so many people, including the theory, “When they attack people, perhaps they are trying to protect the land that they own. And maybe, as the ancient legend says, the tiger really is watching over the forest—for everyone’s benefit.” There are color photographs on every page, showing the landscape, people, and a variety of animals encountered, though glimpses of the tigers are fleeting. The author concludes with some statistics on tigers, information on organizations working to protect them, and a brief bibliography and index. The dramatic cover photo of the tiger will attract readers, and the lively prose will keep them engaged. An appealing science adventure. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-618-07704-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

Next book


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

Close Quickview