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

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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An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SHARKS AND OTHER UNDERWATER CREATURES!

In the wake of Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts! (2019), Lowery spins out likewise frothy arrays of facts and observations about sharks, whales, giant squid, and smaller but no less extreme (or at least extremely interesting) sea life.

He provides plenty of value-added features, from overviews of oceanic zones and environments to jokes, drawing instructions, and portrait galleries suitable for copying or review. While not one to pass up any opportunity to, for instance, characterize ambergris as “whale vomit perfume” or the clownfish’s protective coating as “snot armor,” he also systematically introduces members of each of the eight orders of sharks, devotes most of a page to the shark’s electroreceptive ampullae of Lorenzini, and even sheds light on the unobvious differences between jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of-war or the reason why the blue octopus is said to have “arms” rather than “tentacles.” He also argues persuasively that sharks have gotten a bad rap (claiming that more people are killed each year by…vending machines) and closes with pleas to be concerned about plastic waste, to get involved in conservation efforts, and (cannily) to get out and explore our planet because (quoting Jacques-Yves Cousteau) “People protect what they love.” Human figures, some with brown skin, pop up occasionally to comment in the saturated color illustrations. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 45% of actual size.)

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans. (bibliography, list of organizations) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35973-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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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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