Entomological ecstasy for rural and suburban budding scientists.

READ REVIEW

YOU'RE INVITED TO A MOTH BALL

A NIGHTTIME INSECT CELEBRATION

Full-color photographs accompany detailed instructions for attracting and studying North American moths as well as basic facts.

Early on, there is a candid shot of six kids sitting at a picnic table, verdant grass stretching out from all sides. (Five present white while one might be a child of color.) The children appear engaged in chatting and drawing pictures of moths. Superimposed in bright white type over the grass beneath them, conversational text explains that a moth ball is a celebration to honor “a spectacular insect” and invites readers to join in and learn more. Every page turn leads to bright, colorful photographs and further information. Layout, art, and text function together well. Without condescension, the text is ever fixed on its intended audience; after a thorough, illustrated listing of materials for a successful moth ball: “Did I mention we get to stay up late? Because we do!” photographs show the children setting up a sheet and lights for an observation area and then making snacks of rotting bananas and brown sugar to entice moths that respond more to sweets than to light. There are reminders to be gentle interspersed among facts that include differentiating between moths and butterflies, and the moth life cycle. The nature of the adventure assumes readers will have access to a private, nighttime green area in the summer as well as adults to help them.

Entomological ecstasy for rural and suburban budding scientists. (notes, glossary, resources) (Nonfiction.7-10)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58089-686-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: tomorrow

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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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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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