CLEVER HANS

THE TRUE STORY OF THE COUNTING, ADDING, AND TIME-TELLING HORSE

An astonishing horse baffled both the public and the scientific community.

In 1904 Berlin, Wilhelm von Osten taught his horse, Clever Hans, how to count, discern colors, and perform other intellectual tasks. He then showcased Clever Hans’ talents to the masses, and people were astounded to see a horse that could seemingly tell time, add up sums, and count money! But not everyone believed the spectacle. Some thought there must be trickery involved. One scientist investigated independently, and the German government asked another to assemble a team of investigators. They decided it wasn’t a trick, but they still couldn’t understand the phenomenon. Then a scientist named Oskar Pfungst made an important discovery. What he realized about Clever Hans—who was certainly clever, just not quite in the way everyone thought—changed the scientific process forever. Kokias’ clear, accessible tone pairs well with Lowery’s cartoon style. The comically smiling horse invites readers in, and intermittent paneled frames help organize the flow of information and visually propel the storytelling arc. Von Osten, the investigators, and spectators present white. English translations of certain German words (“Zeitungen”—“Newspapers”) are also included, with playful arrows pointing readers to them. An author’s note further explains the “Clever Hans Effect” and how it changed science.

Clever, indeed. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9 )

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-51498-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe.

IT'S A ROUND, ROUND WORLD!

From the Joulia Copernicus series

In a confident first-person narrative, young scientist Joulia Copernicus debunks the story that Columbus “proved Earth is round.”

Informing readers that Columbus knew this fact, and so did most people of his time, Joulia also points out that “Ancient Greek, Islamic, and Indian scholars theorized that Earth was round WAY before Columbus’s time.” Confident Joulia explains how Columbus, shown as a haughty captain in the humorous, cartoon illustrations, and his fellow mariners confirmed Earth was round by discerning “that when ships sail away from you, they seem to disappear from the bottom. When they sail toward you, they appear from the top. On a flat Earth, you’d see the entire ship the entire time.” The accompanying illustrations, almost like animation cels, provide the visuals readers need to confirm these assertions. Joulia also turns to astronomy. A lunar eclipse is the highlight of a double-page spread with a large yellow sun, a personified blue and green Earth wearing sunglasses, and the moon moving in iterations through the Earth’s shadow. This shows readers that the Earth’s shadow is “ROUND!” Joulia has straight, brown hair and pale skin and is almost always the only human in any given illustration. It’s great to see a young woman scientist, but it’s too bad there’s not more diversity around her. Two experiments stimulate further exploration.

This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63592-128-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: StarBerry Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fact-packed venture into one of nature’s busier biomes.

RAIN FOREST ANIMALS

From the Ultimate Spotlight series

From France, a teeming gallery of wild creatures posing in plain sight or hiding beneath flaps.

Two young human guides on the title page, one brown-skinned, one pink, beckon little explorers to open up a succession of spreads with varied effects. It begins with a big 3-D panorama of rainforest layers from understory to emergent layer and goes on to present dozens of creatures blending in to their densely leafed surroundings, hanging out in family groups, gliding through the air, and, finally, at rest in daylight and—beneath a double gatefold—at night. None of the flora is identified, but nearly every animal comes with a label, usually in boldface, and many with a basic descriptive or behavioral fact or observation: “The vine snake is very thin. It looks just like…a vine!” Some tropical settings are specified, but others are left generic. Though it’s startling on one page to see a rhino and an orangutan seemingly about the same size, however, the ensembles of flat but generally accurately detailed animals in each scene are consistently drawn from at least the same geographical region. For more hands-on learners, two pop-ups, a pull-tab, a big spinner, and lots of small flaps that are often pleasantly challenging to spot amid the busy backgrounds offer plenty of engagement.

A fact-packed venture into one of nature’s busier biomes. (Informational pop-up picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 979-1-02760-877-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more