FOR GOOD MEASURE

By tossing in tidbits of history, word origins and meanings, Robbins takes the everyday subject of measurement and makes it accessible, interesting and memorable. Beginning with the units for lengths and distances, readers will not only learn about feet and inches, but also hands (the width of a palm, used to measure the height of horses) and cubits (middle finger to the elbow, mentioned in the story of Noah’s Ark in the Bible). The tie-ins to word origins may serve as mnemonic devices for readers—the word fathom comes from Old English and meant “outstretched arms,” so if readers cannot fathom something, their arms cannot reach around it. From distances, the author moves on to area—measured in acres, hectares and sections—and then on to weight—pound, ounce, ton, stone, dram and carat (which gets its name from the carob seeds whose uniformity made them a good measure of weight). Liquid measures, dry capacity and time round out the volume. The photographs are a good complement, clearly illustrating the concepts without distracting from the text. Ordinary topic; extraordinary details. (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: March 30, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-344-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more