From the Material Marvels series

Lays down a foundation of basic knowledge as solid as its topic.

An eye-opening survey of this ubiquitous building material’s history and uses.

Continuing the architectural theme of his 2018 tour of a construction site, Builders and Breakers, Light offers informal but usefully detailed portraits of concrete buildings and other structures, from the Pantheon to modern skyscrapers and the Sydney Opera House—lightened by occasional additions like the rabbits (“Whole herds of happy hoppers!”) that lived in the gap between the two Berlin walls and often depicted with a racially diverse cast of inventors, engineers, and general commentators in attendance. Meanwhile, along with explaining concrete’s composition, strengths, and weaknesses, Theule chronicles its appearances through the ages, beginning in Neolithic Göbekli Tepe and in cultures from the ancient Mayans to Chinese Dadiwan, saluting the ancient Romans in particular, highlighting the crucial development of reinforced concrete and of formulations that would set even under water, and closing with the tantalizing suggestion that the wonderfully adaptable stuff has a future as bright as its past. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Lays down a foundation of basic knowledge as solid as its topic. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1250-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022


In this glossy photo essay, the author briefly recounts the study and exploration of the moon, beginning with Stonehenge and concluding with the 1998–99 unmanned probe, Lunar Prospector. Most of the dramatic photographs come from NASA and will introduce a new generation of space enthusiasts to the past missions of Project Mercury, Gemini, and most especially the moon missions, Apollo 1–17. There are plenty of photographs of various astronauts in space capsules, space suits, and walking on the moon. Sometimes photographs are superimposed one on another, making it difficult to read. For example, one photograph shows the command module Columbia as photographed from the lunar module and an insert shows the 15-layer space suit and gear Neil Armstrong would wear for moonwalking. That’s a lot to process on one page. Still, the awesome images of footprints on the moon, raising the American flag, and earthrise from the moon, cannot help but raise shivers. The author concludes with a timeline of exploration, Web sites, recommended books, and picture credits. For NASA memorabilia collectors, end papers show the Apollo space badges for missions 11–17. Useful for replacing aging space titles. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-57091-408-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001



Thousands of years ago, the Komodo dragon may have inspired dragon legends in China and beyond. In more recent times, researchers from all over the world have traveled to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia to study the Komodo dragon. This lively if somewhat haphazardly organized account focuses on the efforts of contemporary researchers, presents some of their cooler findings (female dragons can reproduce through parthenogenesis; their saliva is laced with deadly bacteria) and profiles a few captive specimens. Mostly color photographs from a variety of sources adorn almost every page, and captions add to the information. Learning about the Komodo dragon is not for the faint of heart, and the photos show the wild beasts in all their gory glory. The extensive backmatter includes brief facts about Indonesia, more information on the Komodo dragon life cycle and its use of smell and conservation information. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Komodo Survival Program. (bibliography, further reading, glossary, websites, index, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-757-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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