OLDER THAN THE STARS

In this appealing picture-book introduction to cosmology, a cumulative rhyme presents the “big bang” theory of the origin and development of the universe and the idea that humans, along with everything else, are made of star stuff. Each double-page spread is illustrated with Davis’s lively supportive graphics done with pencil, cut paper and prints and digitally composed; each includes a breezy paragraph of more comprehensive explanation. The pages explode with color: vibrant oranges, yellows, pinks, purples and grayed greens. At first the “House that Jack Built” text tumbles, too, becoming more orderly as the chaos of the beginning structures itself into stars, the Earth and finally its inhabitants. A final timeline summarizes the chronological narrative, balancing 300,000 years on the left with nearly five billion years on the right but noting that it is not done to scale. A glossary offers more precise definitions of the terms used. This simple but effective presentation of a complicated theoretical model, the most commonly accepted explanation of the universe’s beginnings, will delight early readers and listeners with its personal connection. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-57091-787-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more