A labor of love reflecting years of experience in the field as well as in writing for young readers, this offers a path to...

TREECOLOGY

30 ACTIVITIES AND OBSERVATIONS FOR EXPLORING THE WORLD OF TREES AND FORESTS

Enter the world of trees!

This paperback invitation to the study of woodland ecology is nicely organized into chapters that lead from defining what a tree is and looking at individuals, through exploring wooded areas and the wildlife in and around the trees (and stumps!), and finally, to the relationships between trees and people and conservation issues. There’s a generous helping of "look for," "listen for," and "try this" activities for exploring woodlands. Most examples reflect trees that can be found in the eastern and central parts of the United States and nearby Canada, but the narrative is not specific to any single part of North America. As in Birdology (2015), Russo doesn’t talk down to her readers; this works for a wide age range. Activities range from simple observations to ongoing investigations. They require little equipment, sometimes only “your sharp eyes” and, later, a logbook. (She includes suggestions for making, decorating, and using one.) The 125 photos—of trees; leaves, bark, and other details; as well as plants, moss and lichen, and even insect and animal life—will be in full color. There are informational sidebars and drawings, too, as well as helpful backmatter.

A labor of love reflecting years of experience in the field as well as in writing for young readers, this offers a path to interesting explorations of the natural world. (glossary, common and scientific names, resources, teacher’s guide, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61373-396-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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