Another wonder of the animal world, adeptly displayed.

THE GREAT SHARK RESCUE

SAVING THE WHALE SHARKS

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

The largest fish in the ocean, whale sharks are threatened by commercial fishing, climate change, and lack of scientific knowledge.

Once again, Markle (The Great Rhino Rescue, 2018, etc.) ably introduces a vanishing species to her wide audience. She grabs their attention with a suspenseful opening: Two not-yet-grown sharks (16 and 22 feet long) are accidentally trapped by the purse seine of a commercial fishing boat. Before she relieves readers with an account of their rescue, she has introduced the species, described their “oceans of problems,” and explained the tools scientists have developed to investigate their “mysterious life.” Strictly speaking, this is less about that rescue and more about the developing research that may save the species, listed as endangered in 2016, but Markle and her publisher may be forgiven the title which sets this solidly in her Science Discoveries series. As in previous entries, her clear and well-organized exposition is supported by lively design, diagrams, maps, and eye-catching photographs, including one of the trapped juveniles. Short stand-alone sections compare whale sharks to humpback whales, describe the shark’s filter feeding, and explain how researchers identify individual sharks by their patterns of spots and stripes. Finally, she notes that great white sharks need our help, too, concluding with some words about her research and a few additional facts.

Another wonder of the animal world, adeptly displayed. (author’s note, additional facts, timeline, source notes, glossary, further reading, index, photo acknowledgments) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-1041-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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