Arigatou gozaimasu for entertaining enlightenment! (Nonfiction. 9-14)

READ REVIEW

NATURE'S NINJA

ANIMALS WITH SPECTACULAR SKILLS

“To find these animal ninja…you must know where to look.”

That sentence ends a two-page introduction that gives a simple history and definition of human practitioners of ninjutsu (“the art of the ninja”) and invites readers to learn about animals that exhibit similar, extraordinary “skills.” The pages that follow offer fascinating facts, appealing design, and eye-catching illustrations. Symbolic art that mimics universal directional signs is used to show nine different ninja skills of more than nine different animals. Bright ink over a dark background lists each skill in romanized Japanese, with a clear definition beneath it. Colorful, high-resolution photography captures such sights as the boiling-hot spray issuing from the bombardier beetle while equally colorful drawings are used to further illustrate the physical capabilities of geckos and collector urchins. (Readers might have an inkling about the fine hairs that allow geckos to stick to surfaces and perform remarkable releases, but who knew that the collector urchin, when threatened, sends out tiny triangular protuberances with their own sets of snapping jaws?!) The text, which is accessible without condescension, also includes information about methods for studying and documenting the animals’ amazing characteristics and the names of scientists and institutions associated with the studies. More than once, the text encourages emerging scientists by noting that this research is current and ongoing—and that the more scientists learn, the more there is to learn.

Arigatou gozaimasu for entertaining enlightenment! (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-4241-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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
more