Grand and thought-provoking.


A soaring visual tribute to the qualities that both unite bridges and make them individually distinct.

From the 10.4-foot-long El Marco Bridge that links Spain with Portugal to the 34-mile Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge—an undulating ribbon in Majewski’s painted overview that sweeps elegantly into the distance and out of sight over the edge of the page—this gallery of nearly two dozen examples, drawn from every continent except Antarctica and Australia, offers both a dazzling catalog of engineering wonders and an opportunity to reflect on their commonalities. “All over the world,” the author/illustrator writes, “bridges connect.” Some, as his pithy captions and brief endnotes indicate, connect cities, countries, or even continents; others, like the Pont du Gard in Paris or Alabama’s Edmund Pettis Bridge, are historic sites that link our past and present. Whether made of steel, stone, or, like the Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge in Meghalaya, India, of living wood, some soar high overhead, while others run just over or even under water. His groups of pedestrians, when the figures are large enough to tell, are racially diverse. Dan Zettwoch’s work of graphic nonfiction Bridges: Engineering Masterpieces (2022) offers a fuller history of bridges and a more systematic look at the nuts and bolts of their construction, but this will do at least as good a job of exciting feelings of wonder at the beauty of bridges as well as their remarkable range of designs and materials. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Grand and thought-provoking. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 28, 2023

ISBN: 9781419756818

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.


Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.


From the Over and Under series

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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