Scientifically inclined readers will enjoy this in-depth application of STEM to disabled animals.

BIONIC BEASTS

SAVING ANIMAL LIVES WITH ARTIFICIAL FLIPPERS, LEGS, AND BEAKS

Gutiérrez profiles five “bionic beasts,” animals whose prosthetic body parts help them to function.

Matter-of-factly, she introduces three animals that each have only three legs: Lola, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle from Texas; Mosha, an Asian elephant from Myanmar; and Cassidy, a German shepherd from New York. Pirate, a Berkshire-Tamworth pig from Vancouver Island, has a deformed leg; Vitória, a greylag goose from Brazil, lacks a beak. The animals struggled to move or eat until veterinarians, designers, and doctors teamed up to create innovative prostheses and orthoses. The prostheses’ complex design processes are clearly described. Sidebars provide animal facts and highlight various rescue organizations; the book’s bright yellow and green color scheme complements the accompanying color photos. Though technology is the primary focus, the author acknowledges political and environmental issues in the animals’ habitats, such as ongoing civil wars in Myanmar and oceans cluttered with plastic waste. Activities follow each profile. Some attempt to mimic the teams’ challenges by constructing mock prostheses from household items and exploring strengths and weaknesses of various designs. Others edge problematically into disability simulation, such as imitating Pirate’s walk “to understand how Pirate feels” without his orthosis; though well-meaning, the exercise risks encouraging pity for similarly disabled humans and feels incongruous with other, inclusive instructions: “if you are able”; “or observe a friend.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 69.1% of actual size.)

Scientifically inclined readers will enjoy this in-depth application of STEM to disabled animals. (glossary, notes, bibliography, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-8940-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no...

THE INCREDIBLE PLATE TECTONICS COMIC

From the Adventures of Geo series , Vol. 1

Superhero Geo introduces readers to plate tectonics.

Reviewing information on his way to school for a big geology test, young George transforms himself into “Geo,” a uniformed superhero with a rocket-propelled skateboard and a robotic canine sidekick. In his imaginary adventure, he leaps over sidewalk “faults,” swerves away from “tsunamis” splashed up by a passing truck and saves an elderly lady from falling into an open manhole “volcano.” Meanwhile, supported by visual aids provided by inserted graphics and maps, Geo goes over the convergent, divergent and transform movements of tectonic plates, subduction, magnetic “stripes” paralleling oceanic ridges and a host of other need-to-know facts and terms. All of this is illustrated in big, brightly colored sequential panels of cartoon art hung about with heavy blocks of explication. After the exam comes back with, natch, a perfect score (“I guess all that studying paid off”), Lee, a geophysicist, abandons the story for a final 10 pages of recap and further detail on plate tectonics’ causes, effects and measurement—closing with a description of what geologists do.

African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no more than a mouthpiece—perhaps there will be more of a plot in his next adventure. (online projects, index) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59327-549-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: No Starch Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A well-organized overview boosted by some unusual feats and sidelights.

50 SPACE MISSIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

From the Beginner's Guide to Space series

A quick highlight reel of ventures into the high frontier, from the V-2’s first flight in 1942 on.

Read defines mission broadly, so that his tally includes both single achievements, like Sputnik and Apollo 11, and clusters—three Mars rovers for mission No. 22, for instance, and for No. 48, an entire “climate change fleet” of orbiting geophysical satellites. The general drift is chronological, but after introductory looks at how rockets and gravity work, entries are grouped in topical chapters. These begin with “manned” spaceflight up to Valentina Tereshkova’s 1963 orbit, move through looks at ongoing projects such as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy booster, and conclude with glimpses of near-future missions to the moon and Mars. Not every flight here “changed the world” in any substantial way, but along with the usual suspects there are some that may be new even to well-read students of space exploration…such as the U.S.’s first spy satellite, Corona, launched in 1960, and 1982’s international Cospas-Sarsat satellite-based search-and-rescue system. Also, the (then) Soviet Union’s little-known moon rover Lunokhod 1 (1970) gets a nod, as does Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, who actually preceded U.S. astronaut Guion Bluford to become the first person of African descent into space. Small photos and graphic images shoehorned in around the narrative blocks give some pages an overcrowded look, and human figures, though rare, are nearly all White and male.

A well-organized overview boosted by some unusual feats and sidelights. (glossary, websites) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4595-0626-8

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Formac

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more