GLOW DOWN DEEP

AMAZING CREATURES THAT LIGHT UP

Young readers who take the dive will emerge with glowing reports.

Big, ghostly stock photos enhanced with glow-in-the-dark elements shed light on 22 sea creatures that exhibit either biofluorescence or bioluminescence.

For readers a little hazy on the difference, Regan opens by defining the two terms and then, claiming that over 90% of all marine organisms feature one or the other, presents pithy but exact introductions paired to a riveting series of ultra–close-up portraits, dimly lit and placed against solid black backgrounds. From plankton, corals, and various kinds of jellies to the bounteously toothy likes of the dragonfish and viperfish, all of these creatures present a thrillingly exotic otherness—their angular lines or drifting, graceful tentacles enhanced by added dots and swirls of phosphorescent overlay (not seen). Happily, along with describing each animal’s major features and typical habitat, the author carefully notes that most are smaller than they look here (krill, for instance, “are not much bigger than a paper clip”). She also has some news flashes for anyone who thinks that those undersea glimmers are used only to attract prey and mates…as it turns out, krill and hatchetfish employ “counter-illumination” as a defense, and some sea cucumbers can actually drive predators away by strobing like a “burglar alarm.” From the lenticular squid writhing on the front cover on, rarely have denizens of the deep looked more eerily appealing.

Young readers who take the dive will emerge with glowing reports. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-2281-0253-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

THE MONKEY AND THE DOVE AND FOUR OTHER TRUE STORIES OF ANIMAL FRIENDSHIPS

From the Unlikely Friendships for Kids series

The sense of wonder that infuses each simply worded chapter is contagious, and some of the photos are soooo cuuuuute.

The author of an adult book about uncommon animal attachments invites emergent readers to share the warm (Unlikely Friendships, 2011).

This is the first of four spinoffs, all rewritten and enhanced with fetching color photographs of the subject. It pairs a very young rhesus monkey with a dove, one cat with a zoo bear and another that became a “seeing-eye cat” for a blind dog (!), an old performing elephant with a stray dog and a lion in the Kenyan wild with a baby oryx. Refreshingly, the author, a science writer, refrains from offering facile analyses of the relationships’ causes or homiletic commentary. Instead, she explains how each companionship began, what is surprising about it and also how some ended, from natural causes or otherwise. There is a regrettable number of exclamation points, but they are in keeping with the overall enthusiastic tone.

The sense of wonder that infuses each simply worded chapter is contagious, and some of the photos are soooo cuuuuute. (animal and word lists) (Nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7611-7011-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

OUR HOUSE IS ROUND

A KID'S BOOK ABOUT WHY PROTECTING OUR EARTH MATTERS

The result of this Grammy-nominated harpist’s effort to simplify a complex scientific subject is a medley of environmental...

Pollution, energy use, and simply throwing things away have created a worldwide mess that kids can help clean up with an eight-step action plan.

This well-meant offering introduces the idea of the interconnectedness of human activities and the state of our world. We’re all affected by pollution. Our need for energy results in a variety of current problems: unclean air, melting ice caps, rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns. We should use less. Trash doesn’t vanish; it must be burned or dumped. We should also recycle. This helps save trees, which “eat up pollution.” Colorful, unsophisticated cartoons show a bunny magician who cannot make trash disappear and a diverse array of young people who can. The author’s strong message is undercut by end matter that twice states that “many scientists” consider climate change to be caused by global warming. A National Academy of Sciences survey in 2010 showed an overwhelming consensus: 97 percent. Inspired by her concern for the environment, Kondonassis wrote this when she was unable to find an appropriate  book that would explain to her young daughter why she should care. Too bad she missed Kim Michelle Toft’s The World That We Want (2005) or Todd Parr’s The Earth Book (2010).

The result of this Grammy-nominated harpist’s effort to simplify a complex scientific subject is a medley of environmental tweets. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61608-588-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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