There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece,...

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HUMAN BODY

From the Scratch and Learn series

A very simple guide to (some) human anatomy, with scratch-off patches.

On sturdy board pages two cartoon children—one brown, one a sunburned pink—pose for cutaway views of select anatomical features. In most images certain parts, such as lungs and bladder on the “Organs” spread and both gluteus maximi on “Muscles,” are hidden beneath a black layer that can be removed with the flat end (or more slowly with the pointed one) of a wooden stylus housed in an attached bubble pack. With notable lack of consistency, the names of select organs or areas, with such child-centric additions as “A cut,” or “Poop,” are gathered in bulleted lists and/or placed as labels for arbitrarily chosen items in the pictures. It’s hard to envision younger readers getting more than momentary satisfaction from this, as they industriously scrape away and are invited to learn terms such as “Alveoli” and “Latissimus dorsi” that are, at best, minimally defined or described. Older ones in search of at least marginally systematic versions of the skeletal, sensory, nervous, and other (but not reproductive) systems will be even less satisfied. Even those alive to the extracurricular possibilities of a volume that contains, as one of the two warnings on the rear cover notes, a “functional sharp point,” will be disappointed.

There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece, preschool setting. (Informational novelty. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-323-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Just the ticket to spark or nurture early interest in the wonders of the natural world.

EXTREME SURVIVORS

From the American Museum of Natural History Easy Readers series

“Extreme” gets a broad definition (ticks?), but the first-rate photographs and easy-to-read commentary in this survey of animals adapted to harsh habitats will win over budding naturalists.

Sixteen creatures ranging from hot-springs bacteria and the tiny but nearly invulnerable water bear to sperm whales parade past, sandwiched between an introductory spread and a full gallery of thumbnails that works as a content review. The animals are presented in an ordered way that expedites comparisons and contrasts of body features or environments. The sharply reproduced individual stock photos were all taken in the wild and include a mix of close-up portraits, slightly longer shots that show surroundings and more distant eyewitness views. The Roops present concrete facts in simple language—“Penguins have feathers and thick fat to keep them warm”—and vary the structures of their two- to four-sentence passages so that there is never a trace of monotony. Like its co-published and equally inviting title, Melissa Stewart’s World’s Fastest Animals, this otherwise polished series entry closes with a marginally relevant small-type profile of a herpetologist at the American Museum of Natural History.

Just the ticket to spark or nurture early interest in the wonders of the natural world. (Informational early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0631-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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A useful title on a kid-friendly topic.

AND THAT'S THE TOOTH

Guess each animal from facts about their teeth combined with hints about their behavior, location, or anatomy.

A large white speech bubble appears on each recto page, mostly obscuring a photo of an animal. A statement about that animal’s teeth (or lack thereof, in the cases of anteaters and humpback whales) is followed by a hint about the animal’s traits to facilitate guessing. For example, “You can tell how old I am by the growth rings on my teeth. I am… / Hint: I live in water and am smart and social.” Bits of animals visible around the speech bubble also offer some clues. Some kids may have the answer; many young children will not. The page turn reveals a full-page photo, the animal’s name (dolphin, in this case) in large type, and a callout box with facts about its dental characteristics: “Bottlenose dolphins only get one set of teeth for their entire lives. They use their teeth to catch their food, and then they swallow it whole.” The book matter-of-factly introduces information about 11 land and sea animals as well as a human representative, a young child with Asian features. Backmatter defines herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores along with a short guessing game about these categories and presents a diagram of the human mouth with descriptions of its teeth. The full-color stock photos vary in quality.

A useful title on a kid-friendly topic. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64351-818-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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