A prime candidate for a destination party.

READ REVIEW

IF YOU HAD YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ON THE MOON

Why celebrate for just 24 hours on Earth when our nearest neighbor has a 709-hour day?

Sure, balloons won’t float and the near lack of atmosphere also means that everyone has to wear special suits—but the low gravity makes gymnastics a snap, it’s easy to catch the candy as it falls from the piñata, and a batted baseball really travels! Expanding on the fanciful bits with boxed blocks of factual commentary, Lapin accurately describes lunar conditions—explaining, for instance, why the sky is black rather than blue and noting that earthshine is 40 times brighter than moonglow—while suggesting expeditions to check out craters and maria, having a scavenger hunt to track down artifacts left by the Apollo astronauts (two golf balls, 12 pairs of space boots, a rumored “rude drawing”), and chowing down on “a Space Station favorite,” chocolate-pudding cake squeezed from a foil pouch. Ceccarelli adds jolly notes aplenty with painted scenes of young partiers (an inclusive lot, featuring one with Asian features and several people of color) zinging exuberantly around in zero gravity, cavorting or making dust angels on the lunar surface, and gathering back at their spacecraft as a pizza-delivery rocket lands nearby before they all blast off for home. The author reserves generous slices of print and web resources at the end for readers who couldn’t make the voyage.

A prime candidate for a destination party. (glossary, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2970-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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