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Take in the images and text…and dream of your next adventure.

An alphabetical introduction to common hiking essentials, rules, and practices as well as national parks.

Each letter of the alphabet is devoted to a different topic, though the entries share some similarities. A rhyming verse set against an illustration introduces the letter’s topic: backpack, clothes, hydration, leave no trace, urban hiking. Along the left or right sides of each page, lengthy text boxes provide more detail and suggest a trail to hike (the trail or national park name starts with the page’s featured letter), along with its location, distance, and level of difficulty. While Young’s verses are hit or miss in terms of rhythm, the longer texts are solid introductions to topics that are important to hikers: wildlife, what to do if you get lost, and the 10 Essentials to pack with you. Steber’s illustrations are the real stars, bringing to life the wonders that can be found in the national parks (two in Canada, the rest in the United States). Beautiful scenery, rock formations, plants, and wildlife dot the pages; a map would have enhanced the package. People are diverse in terms of race, body type, age, and ability. A final spread introduces the parts of a compass and includes rudimentary instructions on how to use one.

Take in the images and text…and dream of your next adventure. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781534112773

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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