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POWER UP

A fresh, scientific look at one aspect of the incredible human body. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Math and science enthusiasts, this one’s for you!

Fishman and Greenberg, the author and illustrator team of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars (2017), take readers on a journey through the amazing human body, noting that a pinkie finger “has enough energy to light up one of the biggest cities in the world for an entire day.” This informational book explains how the body produces, expends, and recharges energy through such activities as eating, sleeping, and exercising. The author’s note at the end focuses not on what the characters have been doing throughout the book but on Einstein’s equation E=mc2. In child-friendly language, the note explains what an equation is, how Einstein used this one to solve tough problems, and how all of this relates to the body’s energy. While this book could effectively be used in school lessons about energy, kids likely study Einstein’s equation much later in school than this book’s target audience. Greenberg’s multicultural cast of characters models different aspects of the body’s use of energy, the primary character being a black girl with her hair in two puffballs. While most of the characters have strangely angular features, the stark color contrasts and interesting facts will keep readers engaged. Parents and kids alike will appreciate the book’s exhortation to stay curious.

A fresh, scientific look at one aspect of the incredible human body. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-245579-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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HELLO AUTUMN!

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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I WANT TO BE A SCIENTIST

From the I Can Read! series

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers.

Aspiring young scientists, take heed!

Traveling on a ship to the North Pole would seem an adventure in itself, but the young, unnamed narrator, whose mother heads up a team of marine biologists, also gets to meet eight other scientists involved in other specialties. On almost every page of this early reader, we encounter someone engaged in different fieldwork: a hydrologist, a microbiologist, a geologist, a seismologist, a climate scientist, a meteorologist, a zoologist, and an astronomer. As the narrator thinks about careers in science, more specialty roles—botanist, epidemiologist, and physicist—are added to the list. The work of these scientists is clearly and simply explained. (Appended is a short list with descriptions of 10 specialties.) The unfussy illustrations are washed in glowing colors, with many shades of blue; when snow forms the background, the scientists’ bright jackets pop. The ship itself is a fire-engine red. Beginners might need help reading or pronouncing some of the researchers’ special fields, but overall this is an engaging introduction to a wide and important area of work. The scientists include men and women and are racially diverse. The narrator and Mom are light-skinned; the child uses crutches.

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers. (Early reader/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9780062989659

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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