A searching look beneath the surface for young perambulators.

READ REVIEW

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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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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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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