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The balance between information and attractive bookmaking is always important, but atlases like the National Geographic...

Retro-looking maps with pictures of animals, transport, famous landmarks and traditional dancers fill the pages of this mediocre atlas.

The text emphasizes environmental changes and sustainability, with proportionately less information on people. Organizationally, it starts with the oceans, including the two polar areas, and then explores the landmasses. Short, factoid-heavy paragraphs on physical features, climate and weather, natural resources, environment, wildlife and transport accompany each deeply colored map, and in the appropriate regional sections, a paragraph on people and places is added. Although the disproportionately sized pictures of landmarks, natural resources, generic people and miscellany on the maps are identified ("Omani man"; "bus"), too often they are not further explicated. Occasional fold-out pages and small, inserted “Did You Know?” booklets give the illusion of interactivity. Providing comparisons on carbon footprints (“a person in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] on average emits 15 times more than a person in China”) is vital information that seems at odds with the childish maps. A separate wall map (in the same style) is included. The woeful index includes only entries for country names, followed by their capitals.

The balance between information and attractive bookmaking is always important, but atlases like the National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers (2007) still remain the gold standard. This struggles to meet the bronze one. (glossary, index, sources; companion app not seen) (Reference. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84686-333-2

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote...

Two republished tales by a Greco-Cherokee author feature both folkloric and modern elements as well as new illustrations.

One of the two has never been offered south of the (Canadian) border. In “Coyote Sings to the Moon,” the doo-wop hymn sung nightly by Old Woman and all the animals except tone-deaf Coyote isn’t enough to keep Moon from hiding out at the bottom of the lake—until she is finally driven forth by Coyote’s awful wailing. She has been trying to return to the lake ever since, but that piercing howl keeps her in the sky. In “Coyote’s New Suit” he is schooled in trickery by Raven, who convinces him to steal the pelts of all the other animals while they’re bathing, sends the bare animals to take clothes from the humans’ clothesline, and then sets the stage for a ruckus by suggesting that Coyote could make space in his overcrowded closet by having a yard sale. No violence ensues, but from then to now humans and animals have not spoken to one another. In Eggenschwiler’s monochrome scenes Coyote and the rest stand on hind legs and (when stripped bare) sport human limbs. Old Woman might be Native American; the only other completely human figure is a pale-skinned girl.

Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote tales. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55498-833-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Gleefully providing ammunition for snarky readers eager to second-guess misguided beliefs and commands of grown-ups, Rondina dishes up the straight poop on dozens of topics from the cleanliness of a dog’s mouth and the relationship (none) between French fries and acne to whether an earwig could really crawl into your ear and eat your brains. Since she cites no readily checkable sources—support for assertions comes in the form of quotations from experts in various fields, but there is no bibliography—it’s hard to tell how accurate some of her claims are—it would be nice to have a citation to the JAMA studies that debunk the sugar-hyperactivity connection, for instance—and too often she provides only an unsatisfying “You Decide” instead of a clear “True” or “False.” Still, it all makes painless reading equally suitable for casual dipping or reading straight through, and Sylvester’s pen-and-ink spot art adds further light notes to every page. An extensive closing catalog of familiar “Parentisms”—“I’m not running a taxi service,” “Because I said so, that’s why,” etc.—adds a chuckle-inducing lagniappe. (Informational ephemera. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55453-454-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2010

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