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A suitably colorful introduction to the life of a person whose name readers may not know but whose invention they all use.

Through persistent experimentation Edward Binney gave children a cheap and safe coloring medium.

In this chatty, engaging picture book, Biebow provides the historical context around the invention of Crayola crayons. The story covers the media predecessors (breakable, often poisonous artists’ crayons; clay) that were the basis for the Crayola and the trial-and-error process Binney undertook to create a safe, colorful product that children from diverse economic backgrounds could afford. Such visual cues as boldface type for the names of colors throughout the story aid readers in recognizing the colors that Binney developed and that they might encounter in their own crayon boxes. Biebow moves past the invention to recognize the impact this product has had on childhood worldwide. Salerno brings readers close to the story through his illustrations, right onto the lab table where Binney and his team (both impressively mustachioed men and women, all white) developed the crayon. What Jon Klassen achieves emotionally in his characters’ eyes, Salerno manages with eyebrows here. He uses crayon pencils for the bulk of the work; children's pictures in a couple of later spreads are done, appropriately enough, with Crayolas. A well-organized bibliography with both primary and secondary sources, including interviews with Binney’s great-granddaughter, is supplemented by text boxes throughout the book that offer additional informational snippets such as the composition of Crayola’s pigments.

A suitably colorful introduction to the life of a person whose name readers may not know but whose invention they all use. (factory snapshots, author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-86684-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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From the Over and Under series

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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