ONE NIGHT IN THE CORAL SEA

The creators of Beaks! (2002) nose out more wonders of nature with a visit to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. With Brickman’s teeming marine scenes for visuals, done in intricately shaped and painted paper collage, Collard introduces a sampling of the vast array of tropical fish and other reef-dwelling fauna. Then in an awed tone, he describes the recently discovered and still unexplained mass spawning in which, on certain spring nights beneath a full moon, more than a hundred different species of corals simultaneously release vast clouds of sperm and trillions of egg packets. He goes on to trace the development of a single coral polyp from fertilization to a large colony ready for the next spawning. Readers will come away intrigued by the phenomenon and eager to check out the multimedia resources on the appended list. This stands out from the school of other reef tours on library shelves, both for its special focus and for its riveting illustrations. (index, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-57091-389-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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A launch-pad fizzle.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPACE

Flaps and pull-tabs in assorted astro-scenes reveal several wonders of the universe as well as inside glimpses of observatories, rockets, a space suit, and the International Space Station.

Interactive features include a spinnable Milky Way, pop-up launches of Ariane and Soyuz rockets, a solar-system tour, visits to the surfaces of the moon and Mars, and cutaway views beneath long, thin flaps of an international array of launch vehicles. Despite these bells and whistles, this import is far from ready for liftoff. Not only has Antarctica somehow gone missing from the pop-up globe, but Baumann’s commentary (at least in Booker’s translation from the French original) shows more enthusiasm than strict attention to accuracy. Both Mercury and Venus are designated “hottest planet” (right answer: Venus); claims that there is no gravity in space and that black holes are a type of star are at best simplistic; and “we do not know what [other galaxies] actually look like” is nonsensical. Moreover, in a clumsy attempt to diversify the cast on a spread about astronaut training, Latyk gives an (evidently) Asian figure caricatured slit eyes and yellow skin.

A launch-pad fizzle. (Informational pop-up picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 979-1-02760-197-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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