A unique introduction to traditional and innovative agricultural options.

A dozen sustainable farms around the world offer intriguing possibilities for the future of agriculture.

Simple four-beat rhyming couplets concisely describe a plethora of farming methods old and new around the world, many of which will be especially useful in light of climate change. A salt farm on Kaua, an urban food forest in Nairobi, a Yemeni honey farm, a garden on the roof of Boston’s Fenway Park—all grow different edibles suited to their environment. A fish “farm” in Brazil is made up of the Enawenê-Nawê people’s handwoven fish traps held in place by a temporary dam. In contrast, the Solar Supertrees (among many vertical farms and gardens in Singapore) are technological marvels, providing solar power and collecting rainwater. A couple of underwater hydroponic biospheres in Italy and an Australian aquaculture oyster farm are followed by circular gardens in Senegal, “where Sahara and savanna meet,” and Indian dobas that collect water for dry-season use. A helpful feature of the book is the pronunciation guidance, and on every page, unobtrusive insets define terms like erosion, compost, brood, and sustainable. Attractive collagelike compositions use vivid blue, green, tan, and other hues to depict diverse people, with just enough detail to grab the eye. The backmatter puts the various farms on a world map and compresses into a few pages a lot of information on the farms and techniques. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A unique introduction to traditional and innovative agricultural options. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9781646868391

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023


Sure to have readers booking their own trips to catch the next brief but memorable solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse brings a father and son closer together.

After learning in school about the eclipse’s impending arrival, a curious young boy excitedly figures out the best time and place to see it. His father agrees to transport him to the woods to view the eclipse, and the child describes everything that happens at various points—two months before the eclipse, then a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute, and the exciting second before the sun slips behind the moon. Time seems to stand still, and the creatures in the woods are baffled by what appears to be an early nightfall. Then the countdown begins again, with the boy describing what happens after the eclipse—one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year, and even longer. The moment has become a shared memory that enhances the bond between father and son and inspires future eclipse-chasing expeditions. Based on the author’s actual experience with his own son in 2017, this picture book features lively, child-friendly digital artwork filled with scenes of nature, matter-of-fact text that acknowledges the awesomeness of this rare phenomenon, and useful maps that chart the solar eclipse of 2017 and projected paths for future eclipses. Father and son are light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sure to have readers booking their own trips to catch the next brief but memorable solar eclipse. (more information on eclipses) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781338608823

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023


A gleeful game for budding naturalists.

Artfully cropped animal portraits challenge viewers to guess which end they’re seeing.

In what will be a crowd-pleasing and inevitably raucous guessing game, a series of close-up stock photos invite children to call out one of the titular alternatives. A page turn reveals answers and basic facts about each creature backed up by more of the latter in a closing map and table. Some of the posers, like the tail of an okapi or the nose on a proboscis monkey, are easy enough to guess—but the moist nose on a star-nosed mole really does look like an anus, and the false “eyes” on the hind ends of a Cuyaba dwarf frog and a Promethea moth caterpillar will fool many. Better yet, Lavelle saves a kicker for the finale with a glimpse of a small parasitical pearlfish peeking out of a sea cucumber’s rear so that the answer is actually face and butt. “Animal identification can be tricky!” she concludes, noting that many of the features here function as defenses against attack: “In the animal world, sometimes your butt will save your face and your face just might save your butt!” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gleeful game for budding naturalists. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781728271170

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

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