Students of design will appreciate the construction and the lush, vibrant compositions; those seeking comfort for...

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THE FOREST

Bozzi, an Italian journalist and poet, envisions a forest journey as a metaphor for the stages of life.

The book’s design is clever, instantly arousing curiosity with its translucent jacket (sans title) overlaying brilliantly hued vegetation onto a muted cover. The first double-page spread is all white, containing a straightforward sentence on the verso and a debossed face with die-cut eyes through which color is visible on the recto. A pattern is established. The white pages depict, by embossing or debossing only, a sequence of humans of varying races who gradually age. These file between spreads of greenery that similarly transform from a small grove to a progressively more crowded forest, then barren woodland. As youths, the explorers study insects and invent games. Later they notice fellow travelers, whose diversity is mentioned in terms of height, shade, and temperament, with potential for rivalry or love. Some leave traces (art carved in stone), but ultimately, “there is a ravine into which each explorer will eventually fall, despite the precautions taken and the advancements of science.” The final etched face gradually fades as saplings rise through its cracks. Death is unequivocally a mystery. Some will appreciate the final blank pages for contemplation. For others of any age, confronting one’s own mortality in a context in which life seems neither meaningful nor to be remembered will be disquieting.

Students of design will appreciate the construction and the lush, vibrant compositions; those seeking comfort for end-of-life matters will want to look elsewhere. (Picture book. 10-adult)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59270-218-3

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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For middle and high school readers, an encouraging example of earth scientists working to understand and deal with climate...

INSIDE BIOSPHERE 2

EARTH SCIENCE UNDER GLASS

From the Scientists in the Field series

A 1990s science experiment aimed at space exploration finds a new purpose in the 21st century.

Built to test long-term human survival in a closed ecological system like a potential Mars colony, the 3.14-acre glass-enclosed structure called Biosphere 2 is now being used for investigations of climate change here on Earth. Framing her narrative as a tour of the facility, now open to and welcoming visitors, Carson’s information-packed text introduces the original experiment, in which eight people survived for 2 years, and then, chapter by chapter, describes new studies. In the rain forest, biogeochemist Joost van Haren investigates how much carbon dioxide a forest can hold and the effects of drought. An “ocean” with a no-longer-viable coral reef is being repurposed into a model of the nearby Gulf of California, under the supervision of marine biologist Rafe Sagarin. What was once a farm is now a Landscape Evolution Observatory, with replicas of a nearby hillside where hydrologist Luke Pangle studies how water, energy, and carbon move through landscapes. Sustainability coordinator Nate Allen works underneath in the Technosphere, where power and plumbing systems support the entire structure. Well-chosen, clearly captioned photographs support the text, while flashback boxes inform readers of what came before.

For middle and high school readers, an encouraging example of earth scientists working to understand and deal with climate change in new and amazing ways. (glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-41664-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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SNOW DAY

Peddle debuts with a small, wordless epiphany that flows like an animated short. A low winter sun first lights a child building a snowman, then, after a gloriously starry night, returns to transform it—to melt it. Leaving most of each page untouched, Peddle assembles a minimum of accurately brushed pictorial elements for each scene: the builder; the snow figure; their lengthening shadows; the rising sun’s coruscating circle in the penultimate picture; a scatter of sticks, coal, and a carrot in the final one. Most children will still prefer The Snowy Day, but others may find layers of meaning beneath the story’s deceptive simplicity. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-385-32693-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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