A playful romp through multiple fields of science in which even silly questions lead to startling discoveries.

WHY DOES MY SHADOW FOLLOW ME?

MORE SCIENCE QUESTIONS FROM REAL KIDS

Substantial answers to 50 more science queries, from “When will they cure cancer?” to “Why do we have butts?”

Like the questions in Vermond and Ogawa’s Why Don’t Cars Run on Apple Juice? (2019), this fresh set, all posed by young visitors to the Ontario Science Centre, are backed up with full citations to the sources of the answers so that skeptical (or interested) readers can check for themselves. This comes in handy when the answers are complicated, such as the one about curing cancer, or when the questions are trick ones, like “Why do dogs see in black and white?” (“They don’t”) or “Why is there no gravity in space?” (“there is”). In line with her observation that scientists “actually get paid to play,” Vermond keeps the tone light and the language nontechnical throughout. Ogawa reciprocates with cartoon illustrations that feature button-eyed animals with animated expressions mixing with a notably pluralistic array of human figures (including a bald child and people of various ages in wheelchairs) who not only display a broad range of skin colors, but dress diversely enough to include the occasional hijab or turban. “Science,” the author writes, “is sewn into the very fabric of who we are as humans.” Even casual readers will come away knowing a little more about themselves and the world around them as well as understanding that, willy-nilly, we are all doing science all the time.

A playful romp through multiple fields of science in which even silly questions lead to startling discoveries. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77321-501-3

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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