Next book


From the Word Adventures: Punctuation series

Fills the bill for small-group educational settings, but its audience is limited.

Dahl and Garbutt launch a punctuation series with this look at an essential mark: the period.

A period clad in a hard hat introduces readers to its job, though other periods also interject their two cents in dialogue bubbles. Dahl emphasizes the sentence-ending job of a period, devoting a few pages to its use in abbreviations. Garbutt poses the roly-poly periods, who sport stick arms and legs and expressive faces, in humorous situations. For instance, they are menaced by a threatening run-on–sentence tsunami or exhausted when a bunch of text doesn’t offer a place to stop and take a breath. The pink, purple, and blue palette gives the book a retro feel; text that is not a part of the story plays a role in providing readers with examples. Though diligent and not without a sense of fun, the book is not a total success. Small but vital details in the pictures make this difficult to share with large groups or entire classes, limiting its usefulness, and while some parts are a bit funny, it’s not likely kids will choose this on their own. Backmatter includes a summary of the period’s uses, a glossary, scant lists of resources for further information, and three critical thinking questions. Publishing simultaneously are Commas Say “Take a Break”, Exclamation Points Say “Wow!”, and Question Marks Say “What?”.

Fills the bill for small-group educational settings, but its audience is limited. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4054-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

Next book


From the Professor Astro Cat series

Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit.

The bubble-helmeted feline explains what rockets do and the role they have played in sending people (and animals) into space.

Addressing a somewhat younger audience than in previous outings (Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, 2013, etc.), Astro Cat dispenses with all but a light shower of “factoroids” to describe how rockets work. A highly selective “History of Space Travel” follows—beginning with a crew of fruit flies sent aloft in 1947, later the dog Laika (her dismal fate left unmentioned), and the human Yuri Gagarin. Then it’s on to Apollo 11 in 1969; the space shuttles Discovery, Columbia, and Challenger (the fates of the latter two likewise elided); the promise of NASA’s next-gen Orion and the Space Launch System; and finally vague closing references to other rockets in the works for local tourism and, eventually, interstellar travel. In the illustrations the spacesuited professor, joined by a mouse and cat in similar dress, do little except float in space and point at things. Still, the art has a stylish retro look, and portraits of Sally Ride and Guion Bluford diversify an otherwise all-white, all-male astronaut corps posing heroically or riding blocky, geometric spacecraft across starry reaches.

Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911171-55-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Next book


A broad, if hardly more than skin-deep, introduction to the topic.

Four double-foldout spreads literally extend this first gander at our body’s insides and outsides—to jumbo, if not quite life, size.

Labels, basic facts, and one-sentence comments surround full-length cartoon images of the skeleton, musculature, and major sections of the body on the foldouts. Selected parts from the brain on down to blood cells are covered on the leaves in between. Lacey dishes out explanations of major body systems and processes in resolutely nontechnical language: “When you eat, food goes on a long twisty journey, zigzagging through tubes and turning into a soupy mush for your body to use.” It’s lightly spiced with observations that, for instance, the “gluteus maximus” is the largest muscle or the spine is made up of “vertebrae.” So light is the once-over, however, that the lymphatic, renal, and most of the endocrine systems escape notice (kidneys, where are you?). Moreover, though printed on durable card stock, the foldouts make for unwieldy handling, and on some pages, images are so scattered that successive stages of various processes require numbering. Still, Web links on the publisher’s page will presumably help to cover the gaps (unavailable for review). An overview of human development from fertilization to adulthood precedes a closing flurry of height extremes and other “Amazing body facts” that provide proper closure for this elementary survey.

A broad, if hardly more than skin-deep, introduction to the topic. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7945-3596-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Usborne

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Close Quickview