Effectively makes the case that we are all biological boardinghouses.

READ REVIEW

GUT GARDEN

A JOURNEY INTO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF YOUR MICROBIOME

A quick introduction to some of the teeming tenants who call the human body “Home, Sweet Home.”

Squeamish readers may want to go slow: “My name is Demodex and I live on your face!” proclaims one eight-legged micro-critter at the beginning. Led by a preteen lad who poses for internal views, human figures with generically beige skin share space in cartoon illustrations with hordes of mottled, anthropomorphic blobs in diverse bright hues that wave, smile, and scurry busily over magnified interior fleshscapes. Brosnan, rightly pointing out that microbes live “EVERYWHERE” and that there are more of them in our bodies than actual human cells, nods to archaea, fungi, and other types of microscopic life but sticks largely to bacteria as she conducts a tour of the digestive system’s residents. Focusing more on functions than polysyllabic names (though there are plenty of the latter), she mentions pathogens and disease but keeps the tone positive by highlighting the roles common beneficial species play in nutrition, health, and maintaining a balanced intestinal ecosystem. She makes a puzzling claim that viruses cannot “evolve” and offers a woefully incomplete view of manure’s agricultural benefits, in addition to introducing as uncomplicated fact the benefits of probiotics and fecal matter transplants and failing to explore why farmers feel it’s important to feed their animals antibiotics. Still, as a unicellular fellow traveler puts it toward the end, there’s “plenty to chew on” here. This U.K. import’s British spellings and metric measurements remain unaltered.

Effectively makes the case that we are all biological boardinghouses. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-908714-72-5

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Cicada Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones.

MARIE CURIE AND RADIOACTIVITY

From the Graphic Science Biographies series

A highlights reel of the great scientist’s life and achievements, from clandestine early schooling to the founding of Warsaw’s Radium Institute.

In big sequential panels Bayarri dashes through Curie’s career, barely pausing at significant moments (“Mother! A letter just arrived. It’s from Sweden,” announces young Irène. “Oh, really?…They’re awarding me another Nobel!”) in a seeming rush to cover her youth, family life, discoveries, World War I work, and later achievements (with only a closing timeline noting her death, of “aplastic anemia”). Button-eyed but recognizable figures in the panels pour out lecture-ish dialogue. This is well stocked with names and scientific terms but offered with little or no context—characteristics shared by co-published profiles on Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity (“You and your thought experiments, Albert!” “We love it! The other day, Schrödinger thought up one about a cat”), Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution, and Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion. Dark-skinned Tierra del Fuegans make appearances in Darwin, prompting the young naturalist to express his strong anti-slavery views; otherwise the cast is white throughout the series. Engagingly informal as the art and general tone of the narratives are, the books will likely find younger readers struggling to keep up, but kids already exposed to the names and at least some of the concepts will find these imports, translated from the Basque, helpful if, at times, dry overviews.

Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones. (glossary, index, resource list) (Graphic biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7821-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sketchy teaser in search of an audience.

EDDIE THE ELECTRON MOVES OUT

From the Eddie the Electron series , Vol. 2

A subatomic narrator describes how helium, a nonrenewable resource, is formed deep underground.

The very simple cartoon style of the illustrations suggests a breezier ride than the scientifically challenging content delivers. With much reliance on explanatory endnotes, Rooney sends her zippy narrator—newly freed from a popped balloon (see Eddie the Electron, 2015)—barreling its way past billions of nitrogen and oxygen atoms to the top of the atmosphere. Eddie describes how uranium and thorium trapped in the newly formed planet’s crust self-destructed to leave helium as a stable byproduct. Billions of tedious years later (“I thought I would die of pair annihilation!”) that helium was extracted for a wide variety of industrial uses. Following mentions of Einstein and how Eddie is mysteriously connected to other atoms “in a way that surpasses space and time,” the popeyed purple particle floats off with a plea to cut down on the party balloons to conserve a rare element. Younger readers may find this last notion easier to latch onto than the previous dose of physics, which is seriously marred both by the vague allusions and by Eddie’s identification as a helium atom rather than the free electron that his portrayals in the art, not to mention his moniker, indicate.

A sketchy teaser in search of an audience. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944995-14-0

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more