A searching look beneath the surface for young perambulators.

WALK THIS UNDERGROUND WORLD

From the Walk This World series

Cross-section views of underground settlements and sites, from ancient tombs to the cities of humans and prairie dogs.

The creators of Walk This Wild World (2017) here literally take the low road, with stops on each continent except Antarctica. The tour begins with a panoramic look at the busy shopping level beneath the streets of Montreal and the subway beneath that, then goes on to similar views of London and Tokyo. Brewster also digs down to reveal underground warrens populated by leafcutter ants and other creatures, subterranean Berber homes in the Tunisian town of Matmata, elaborately decorated tombs in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, a salt mine in Poland, an opal mine in Australia, and prehistoric fossils buried beneath Mongolia’s Flaming Cliffs. Each graphically tidy setting is rich in details, with human figures (fairly diverse of dress and skin color) and animals engaged in exploration, housekeeping, or other tasks. Baker’s identifying rhyme is the only text visible on each spread at first glance, which invites viewers to take in the overall scene at their leisure before lifting the multiple flaps to reveal illuminating descriptive and explanatory comments, along with fleshed-out versions of dino skeletons and like additional images. Despite a few liberties with scale, these subterranean sojourns will add a new level…or two…to readers’ worlds.

A searching look beneath the surface for young perambulators. (Informational novelty. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0856-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

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 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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