An eye-filling showcase with much to offer both general browsers and budding biologists.

LAND MAMMALS OF THE WORLD

NOTES, DRAWINGS, AND OBSERVATIONS ABOUT ANIMALS THAT LIVE ON LAND

From the Animal Journal series

A select portrait gallery of terrestrial mammals, enhanced with close-up details and zoological notes.

Alonso (Early Cretaceous, 2015) switches from dinosaurs to extant wildlife (domesticated animals, including Homo sapiens, don’t make the cut here), presenting in no particular sequence representative members of 15 mammalian orders in dignified but lifelike poses against neutral-toned backgrounds. The accomplished artist portrays each subject not to scale but with careful exactitude—every hair, claw, spike, and wrinkle seemingly individually drawn—and surrounds each with descriptive notes printed, mostly, in a faux-cursive typeface. Along with pointing out salient physical features, the notes include species names, ranges and sizes, diets, and International Union for Conservation of Nature statuses from “Least Concern” to “Critically Endangered.” He also adds occasional inset looks at individual paws or feet, expands his section on the Chiroptera (bats) with two subgalleries of close-ups to highlight their startling diversity of facial features, and injects momentary drama by catching a hyena, a Kodiak bear, and, in a head-only shot, a puma in midroar.

An eye-filling showcase with much to offer both general browsers and budding biologists. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63322-196-3

Page Count: 131

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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 Press

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Far from comprehensive but visually arresting and, at times, provocative.

HUMAN BODY

From the Information Graphics series

Stylized graphics rendered in saturated hues set this quick overview of body systems apart from the general run.

Arranged in tabbed and color-coded sections, the tour covers familiar ground but often from an unusual angle. The tally of human senses at the beginning, for instance, includes “proprioception” (physical multitasking), and ensuing chapters on the skeletal, circulatory and other systems are capped with a miscellany of body contents and products—from selected parasites and chemicals to farts and sweat. Likewise, descriptions of a dozen physical components of the “Brain Box” are followed by notes on more slippery mental functions like “Consciousness” and “Imagination.” The facts and observations gathered by Rogers are presented as labels or captions. They are interspersed on each spread with flat, eye-dazzling images designed by Grundy not with anatomical correctness in mind but to show processes or relationships at a glance. Thus, to show body parts most sensitive to touch, a silhouette figure sports an oversized hand and foot, plus Homer Simpson lips (though genitals are absent, which seems overcautious as an explicit section on reproduction follows a few pages later), and a stack of bathtubs illustrates the quantity of urine the average adult produces in an average lifetime (385 bathtubs’ worth). There is no backmatter.

Far from comprehensive but visually arresting and, at times, provocative. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7123-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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