Another compelling, hopeful account of ecosystem defense.

THE GREAT RHINO RESCUE

SAVING THE SOUTHERN WHITE RHINOS

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

On the African savanna, efforts to save the southern white rhino require varied approaches.

Continuing a longtime focus on animal conservation and rescue, science educator Markle turns her attention to the plight of the southern white rhino. This giant mammal, an important “ecosystem engineer,” was brought close to extinction in the mid-20th century by hunting and loss of habitat before being rediscovered, protected, and restored. Now it is threatened again, by poachers harvesting its horns for their rumored therapeutic powers. The author introduces her disturbing story with a suspenseful description of a poacher attack and concludes with the targeted rhino’s rescue and the species’ prospects for the future. In between, she covers protection efforts in South Africa that include: reserves and restrictions against hunting, relocation, market attempts to reduce horn value, helping survivors of horn removal, and the use of patrols and trained dogs. The clear and well-organized exposition weaves in plenty of information about the habits and habitats of this remarkable species and the nature of its coveted horn. Appealing design includes photos from a variety of sources, many showing rhino mothers and their calves and more than a few showing their human African protectors, both white and black. These images are captioned with clear explanations and additional information. Supportive backmatter includes a good list of books and websites about all kinds of rhinos appropriate for the intended readers.

Another compelling, hopeful account of ecosystem defense. (author’s note, timeline, source notes, glossary, find out more, index, photo acknowledgements) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4436-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.

FLASH FACTS

Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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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

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