The topic alone may interest some individual readers, but this book will be most useful for teachers to use in environmental...

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ALL THAT TRASH

THE STORY OF THE 1987 GARBAGE BARGE AND OUR PROBLEM WITH STUFF

McCarthy again tackles an unusual subject: a garbage barge that traveled for over 6,000 miles.

With 3,186 tons of trash from New York, the barge with its accompanying tugboat went from Long Island to waters near North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in the U.S. and then Mexico, Belize, and the Bahamas, before heading back to New York when all of these places refused to let the barge land. Major newscasters (represented in the author/illustrator’s usual style with large eyes and little, lopsided mouths) reported on the barge’s travels for months. The person who set the trip in motion, Lowell Harrelson, wanted to “let the steaming, oozing heap of garbage decompose, thus creating methane—and then energy!” Acrylic paintings, sometimes scenic, sometimes amusing, are mostly but not exclusively peopled by white males, with an occasional female newscaster and the Queens borough president, the first woman to hold that office. Although the monthslong incident was treated as a running joke in the media, there are lasting results. People became more aware of recycling, something that Greenpeace encouraged by unfurling a large banner on the barge, pictured in a double-paged spread. Backmatter includes recycling project photos and recycling facts, but many adults may wish for additional practical information as well.

The topic alone may interest some individual readers, but this book will be most useful for teachers to use in environmental projects. (author’s note, facts, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7752-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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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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