Everyone who reads this case study in paleontology’s methods and awesome rewards will want to grow up to be a dinosaur...

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TITANOSAUR

DISCOVERING THE WORLD'S LARGEST DINOSAUR

Argentine scientists involved in the actual dig describe one of modern paleontology’s most titanic discoveries.

“Excuse me,” says a Patagonian gaucho, stopping to view a dinosaur exhibit on a visit to town. “I found a bone just like that one on my ranch. But it’s much bigger than that one.” And so it is, as investigating paleontologist José (lead author Carballido) demonstrates in a memorable, money-shot illustration by Gigena, by lying down beside a 7-foot, 10-inch fossil femur—the largest of over 180 bones to be excavated, carefully preserved, hauled away from their remote site, and copied so that an exact replica of the humongous new species, Patagotitan mayorum, could be assembled. Running sidebar definitions and explanations of, for instance, how scientists can estimate a dinosaur’s body mass by measuring its arm and leg bones and what a single fossil tooth can tell scientists about a dinosaur’s eating habits enhance the third-person account, as does the mix of photos and painted views of women and (mostly unshaven) men at work in the field and lab. The story and pictures culminate in a jaw-dropping double-page–spread portrait of the finished dino model. “It’s the biggest dinosaur ever found,” concludes José’s partner Diego (co-author Pol). “For now,” replies José.

Everyone who reads this case study in paleontology’s methods and awesome rewards will want to grow up to be a dinosaur scientist. (jacket poster) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-20739-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Science at its best: informative and gross.

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK

Why not? Because “IT’S FULL OF GERMS.”

Of course, Ben-Barak rightly notes, so is everything else—from your socks to the top of Mount Everest. Just to demonstrate, he invites readers to undertake an exploratory adventure (only partly imaginary): First touch a certain seemingly blank spot on the page to pick up a microbe named Min, then in turn touch teeth, shirt, and navel to pick up Rae, Dennis, and Jake. In the process, readers watch crews of other microbes digging cavities (“Hey kid, brush your teeth less”), spreading “lovely filth,” and chowing down on huge rafts of dead skin. For the illustrations, Frost places dialogue balloons and small googly-eyed cartoon blobs of diverse shape and color onto Rundgren’s photographs, taken using a scanning electron microscope, of the fantastically rugged surfaces of seemingly smooth paper, a tooth, textile fibers, and the jumbled crevasses in a belly button. The tour concludes with more formal introductions and profiles for Min and the others: E. coli, Streptococcus, Aspergillus niger, and Corynebacteria. “Where will you take Min tomorrow?” the author asks teasingly. Maybe the nearest bar of soap.

Science at its best: informative and gross. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17536-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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