ANIMAL SNOOPS

THE WONDROUS WORLD OF WILDLIFE SPIES

A parrot costumed as detective leads readers through this collection of examples of animals “spying and prying” to find a mate, food or home or to avoid being eaten, of course, and animals tricking other eavesdroppers. While the conceit may be far-fetched, this is an appealing presentation of intriguing animal facts. Chapter by chapter, the text describes animals paying attention to each other and to other species. The examples are wide-ranging. Baboons, European robins and cichlids all look for a chance to horn in on a reproductive pair and get a chance to reproduce themselves. Predator fireflies watch for other firefly signal lights to pounce. Go-away-birds let dik-diks know when a predator is near. Siamese fighting fish watch others fight to challenge the loser; for female canaries, the loser is the best mate. And so on. A lively design includes photographs of the species, with notes attached. Each chapter has a slightly different colored background and is followed by an example of a further unusual behavior. Suggested additional reading, an exemplary bibliography and index complete the package. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55451-217-1

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lighthearted, enjoyable introduction to a fascinating subject.

ROBOTS AND DRONES

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

From the Science Comics series

This latest entry in the graphic-nonfiction series Science Comics introduces readers to the history of robotics and explains what is and what is not a robot.

The conductor on this entertaining guided tour is a birdlike robot called Pouli, conceived by Greek mathematician Archytas and propelled by steam, the first machine to fly through the sky back in 350 B.C.E. Defining a robot as “a machine that senses something in its environment, makes a choice about what it senses, and performs an action in response,” Pouli explains how robots are everywhere, from the ocean floor and the surface of Mars to our kitchens. Robots do everything from make coffee and vacuum floors in our homes to defuse bombs and explore the interiors of volcanoes. Pouli offers a refresher on simple machines like levers and pulleys to demonstrate how those simple concepts became the building blocks for the complex machines we have today. Drones are treated as a subset of robotics rather than a separate technology. The narrative focuses on the positives robots and drones can accomplish and the human component of computer programming. Isaac Asimov, who formulated the Three Laws of Robotics, is also recognized. Chabot’s clean, full-color panels shift between illustrated anecdotes and often humorous diagrams to convey the information, and they are populated by racially and culturally diverse figures both historical and fictional. An unfortunate oversight is the lack of suggestions for further reading.

A lighthearted, enjoyable introduction to a fascinating subject. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-793-9

Page Count: 130

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more