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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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.

THE PERFECT HORSE

THE DARING RESCUE OF HORSES KIDNAPPED DURING WORLD WAR II

Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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Personal notes give this stirring tribute to speed, power, and technological prowess an unusually intimate air.

CROSSING ON TIME

STEAM ENGINES, FAST SHIPS, AND A JOURNEY TO THE NEW WORLD

Childhood memories, as well as loads of historical and archival research, anchor a history of ocean liners from the invention of steam pumps to the magnificent SS United States.

Linked by recollections of his own family’s 1957 journey from the U.K. to New York aboard the United States, Macaulay traces the development of steam-powered ships from a small 1783 paddle-driven experiment to the 990-foot monster that still holds the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing by a ship of its type. Ignoring the Titanic-like tragedies, he focuses on design and engineering—mixing profile portraits of dozens of increasingly long, sleek hulls with lovingly detailed cutaway views of boilers, turbines, and power trains, structural elements being assembled (sometimes with the help of a giant authorial hand reaching down from the skies), and diagrams of decks and internal workings. All of this is accompanied by sure, lucid explanations and culminates in a humongous inside view of the United States on a multiple gatefold, with very nearly every room and cupboard labeled. Having filled in the historical highlights, the author turns to his own story with an account of the five-day voyage and his first impressions of this country that are made more vivid by reconstructed scenes and family photos. A waiter in one of the former is the only person of color in clear view, but human figures of any sort are rare throughout.

Personal notes give this stirring tribute to speed, power, and technological prowess an unusually intimate air. (timeline, further reading) (Nonfiction/memoir. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59643-477-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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