With considerable panache, Farndon bestows these beasts with their very own brand of beauty.

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MEGAFAST TRUCKS

From the Megafast series

An insanely joyful collection of—well, call them electrifying biographies of very fast trucks.

Profiled here are 10 of the fastest trucks on planet Earth (or likely anywhere else in the solar system). Farndon whets readers’ appetites by briefly surveying concepts of speed and acceleration and how one actually goes about measuring speed. One example is of a “superbike” —that is, a motorcycle—that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. Then it is on to a brisk but riveting introduction to the trucks; as the speeds increase, the trucks become more mesmerizing, and turning the pages actually slows the action, something like what the theory of relativity does to time. First up is Lee Shockley’s “Shockwave,” a semi without the trailer, but with three Pratt and Whitney jet engines, which tools merrily along at 376 mph, flames pouring from its exhaust pipes as it races to catch a jet. Late to school? Paul Stender’s “School Time” bus will get you there at 367 mph, though it only gets one mile per 150 gallons of fuel. Brio meets absurdity on steroids in this dramatically illustrated—both photos and drawings—survey that also makes learning about jet propulsion, tire construction, and sidewinder rattlers a hoot. Megafast Motorcycles delivers the same treatment to two-wheelers.

With considerable panache, Farndon bestows these beasts with their very own brand of beauty. (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-9587-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hungry Tomato/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph.

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WISHTREE

Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all.

Most trees are introverts at heart. So says Red, who is over 200 years old and should know. Not to mention that they have complicated relationships with humans. But this tree also has perspective on its animal friends and people who live within its purview—not just witnessing, but ultimately telling the tales of young people coming to this country alone or with family. An Irish woman named Maeve is the first, and a young 10-year-old Muslim girl named Samar is the most recent. Red becomes the repository for generations of wishes; this includes both observing Samar’s longing wish and sporting the hurtful word that another young person carves into their bark as a protest to Samar’s family’s presence. (Red is monoecious, they explain, with both male and female flowers.) Newbery medalist Applegate succeeds at interweaving an immigrant story with an animated natural world and having it all make sense. As Red observes, animals compete for resources just as humans do, and nature is not always pretty or fair or kind. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students.

A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-04322-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age...

THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

Beverly Cleary has written all kinds of books (the most successful ones about the irrepressible Henry Huggins) but this is her first fantasy.

Actually it's plain clothes fantasy grounded in the everyday—except for the original conceit of a mouse who can talk and ride a motorcycle. A toy motorcycle, which belongs to Keith, a youngster, who comes to the hotel where Ralph lives with his family; Ralph and Keith become friends, Keith gives him a peanut butter sandwich, but finally Ralph loses the motorcycle—it goes out with the dirty linen. Both feel dreadfully; it was their favorite toy; but after Keith gets sick, and Ralph manages to find an aspirin for him in a nearby room, and the motorcycle is returned, it is left with Ralph....

The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age group. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1965

ISBN: 0380709244

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1965

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