A convincing invitation to the wide world of working with animals.

ZOOLOGY FOR KIDS

UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH ANIMALS, WITH 21 ACTIVITIES

A pair of enthusiastic animal lovers provide a comprehensive introduction to zoology, a description of potential careers and suggestions for hands-on activities for learning or practicing.

This useful title begins with an in-depth look at the basics of the study of animal life: animal forms and functions, animal behavior, and the relation of animals to their environments. The second section describes the many different roles animal lovers can play: as workers (and even volunteers) in zoos and aquariums, veterinarians, wildlife researchers and “conservation warriors.” The accompanying activities are appropriate for middle school students alone or in groups. They include baking an edible “animal cell” and making a salad from fruits commonly pollinated by bats, molding tiger teeth, making a stethoscope and taking vital signs, and playing various games. The extensive text, though a bit daunting at first, reads smoothly and often directly addresses the audience. It’s broken up and made to look more accessible with plentiful pictures (a wide range of animals and animal workers) and text boxes. Some of these breakout sections discuss zoological concepts such as metamorphosis and animal classification, while others introduce figures in the history of animal study, from Aristotle to the chief scientist at Polar Bears International, and still others describe particular animal encounters.

A convincing invitation to the wide world of working with animals. (glossary, resources, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61374-961-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike.

ULTIMATE OCEANPEDIA

THE MOST COMPLETE OCEAN REFERENCE EVER

A compendium of all things oceanic, from surface to depths, covering biology, geology, coasts, climatic phenomena, and human use and abuse.

Considering the size of the general topic, the coverage isn’t as shallow as it might be. Hundreds of crisply professional nature photos and big, easy-to-follow charts and diagrams anchor waves of densely packed but often breezy commentary (“Many parrotfish species also make their own sleeping bags at night—out of mucus!”) that Wilsdon pours in beneath such headers as “It’s a Shore Thing” and “Belize It or Not!” Overviews of each ocean, of plate tectonics, the action and effects of ocean currents, worldwide climate change, and physical features from islands to abyssal plains sail by in succession, but marine biology takes pride of place with page after page of photogenic sea life from tiny krill on up to whales and polar bears. The author profiles a marine ecologist and interviews an oceanographer to cap chapters on modern research, exploration, and industries, then closes with generous lists of sites to visit physically or virtually.

A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2550-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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