A broad if somewhat arbitrary survey, more suitable for casual browsing than systematic study.

One hundred watershed discoveries and developments in science and technology.

Conceptual and design flaws render much of this panoramic survey only marginally usable. Within each of 10 general areas ranging in scope from “Space” and “Numbers” to “Wheels,” Gillespie highlights 10 significant prehistoric and historical advances. Her explanations are concise but clear, and she consistently gives credit where credit is due to women scientists and inventors. But along with some factual flubs—no, we don’t have seasons because “the sun spins on a tilted axis”—and overlapping entries, none of the topics or names are easy to look up, as the volume is unpaged and unindexed. Worse, the decision to use small, hair-fine type over dark green or blue backgrounds leaves large portions of the narrative only semilegible even in bright lighting. Du occasionally tints the skin of some human figures in the stippled cartoon illustrations a very light brown, but a lab-coated redhead who elbows her way into many scenes and sometimes actively participates in them inserts a white, Eurocentric presence into the overall narrative.

A broad if somewhat arbitrary survey, more suitable for casual browsing than systematic study. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84780-843-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017


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