BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT DINOSAURS!

From the Boy, Were We Wrong series

A spirited text and humorously detailed line-and-color illustrations discuss the evolving nature of dinosaur research, emphasizing the ways recent discoveries have changed the ways paleontologists understand the always-fascinating creatures. Using the refrain, “Boy, were we wrong . . . !” Kudlinski introduces early thinking about the giant reptiles and then juxtaposes it with our current knowledge: For example, early drawings of dinosaurs show them dragging their tails, but the lack of tail drag marks in thousands of fossil footprints and close examination of tailbones have led scientists to conclude that dinosaurs held their tails out and used them for balance. Schindler’s finely-inked illustrations use faux-antique effects to illustrate old thinking, while current theories feature colorful, full-bleed paintings, giving personality to their subjects without undue anthropomorphizing. Throughout, readers are encouraged to question received knowledge (and older library books), always acknowledging that the science keeps changing. An opening that encourages readers to laugh up their sleeves at the “ignorance” of ancient Chinese scholars on the subject of dinosaurs is an unfortunate detour into exoticism in a text that otherwise treats both readers and subject with respect and enthusiasm. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-525-46978-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2005

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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

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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

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