MISSION: PLANET EARTH

OUR WORLD AND ITS CLIMATE--AND HOW HUMANS ARE CHANGING THEM

The authors of the classic Third Planet (1994) narrow their focus to examine the Earth’s oxygen and carbon cycles, and how human monkeying with them has created troubling signs of a destabilized climate. The narrative’s tone is less alarmist than most recent looks at global warming, but still threaded with lively language—“As the mouse digests the leaf, our carbon atom is yanked off the sugar molecule and two oxygen atoms are plunked on it”—and well stocked with both recent scientific findings and big, clear color photos. Photo captions nicely provide additional information that expands on the argument provided by the primary text: Beneath a close-up of a very photogenic pika, the caption reads, “if the temperature rises above 31°C…even for an hour they will die.” The topic is getting plenty of attention elsewhere, but this cogently argued, handsomely packaged companion to the easier and more activity-oriented Mission: Save the Planet (2009) will leave readers understanding just why it would be a good idea to be concerned. (index, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-59643-310-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

BRIAN'S RETURN

Paulsen brings the story he began in Hatchet (1987) and continued in the alternate sequels The River (1991) and Brian’s Winter (1996) around to a sometimes-mystical close. Surviving the media coverage and the unwanted attention of other high school students has become more onerous to Brian than his experiences in the wild; realizing that the wilderness has become larger within him than the need to be with people, Brian methodically gathers survival equipment—listed in detail—then leaves his old life behind. It takes some time, plus a brutal fight and sessions with a savvy counselor, before Brian reaches that realization, but once out under the trees, it’s obvious that his attachment to the wild is a permanent one. Becoming ever more attuned to the natural wonders around him, he travels over a succession of lakes and streams, pausing to make camp, howl with a wolf, read Shakespeare to a pair of attentive otters and, once, to share a meal with an old man who talks about animal guides and leaves a medicine bundle for him. Readers hoping for the high adventure of the previous books may be disappointed, as Brian is now so skilled that a tipped canoe or a wild storm are only inconveniences, and even bears more hazard than threat; still, Paulsen bases many of his protagonist’s experiences on his own, and the wilderness through which Brian moves is vividly observed. Afterword. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-385-32500-2

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more