A cute angle any way you slice it.


From the Piece of Cake series

Why use pie charts to demonstrate basic principles of geometry when actual pies will do?

In her equally scrumptious follow-up to Geology Is a Piece of Cake (2017), Coppens once again keeps the focus on the food—linking introductions to seven fundamental concepts of geometry, including “Symmetry,” “Tessellations,” and “Angles,” by quickly turning each topic pie-ward: “How does rotational symmetry relate to pie?” “How do polygons relate to pie?” “How does Pi (π) relate to pie?” The illustrations offer a similarly enlightening (not to mention mouthwatering) mix of simple diagrams and color photos (most by the author herself) of beautifully decorated pies, sliced or whole as required for demonstrative purposes. Clear, simple line diagrams complement these photos and ably help to integrate the content. A discussion of right, complementary, acute, and obtuse angles (and more) yields explorations of both equitable slicing and relative appetite size. Recipes? Of course…eight in all, ranging from appetizer-sized samosas and a savory quiche to a butterscotch pie and a lattice-topped apple masterpiece (demonstrating parallel and perpendicular lines, natch). All come with detailed instructions, though for all but the final array of miniature berry pies, pre-made dough or crusts are recommended. The author closes with 20 challenging review questions (about geometry, but cast in pie-centric language) and a final photo gallery labeled “Just Desserts” to drool over.

A cute angle any way you slice it. (Glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-943431-52-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tumblehome Learning

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.



A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)


Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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