A really, really big and more pertinent question is: Who is the audience for this unnecessary effort? (Nonfiction. 9-12)

REALLY, REALLY BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT ME AND MY BODY

From the Really, Really Big Questions About... series

In the third of a series of Really, Really Big Question books, Law delves again into philosophy for children.

The title might imply that this is going to be yet another anatomy-and-physiology-for-children effort. To a certain extent, it is. Discussing cells and atoms and providing some attention to a few body parts—eyes and brains especially—it meanders about, briefly spotlighting a topic and just as quickly heading off in another direction. While it delves into philosophical questions that have haunted deep thinkers for eons—"How do I know that the world is real?" for example—it also fails to name "the tube into your stomach" or "the different tube into your lungs," with the apparent supposition that these long words might stump readers. In answering "Why do I catch colds?" the author incorrectly reports that the virus is transmitted this way: "You might touch a doorknob that someone with the virus has used and then touch the food you are eating." Actually, stomach acid destroys cold viruses, which spread through the air. Aspinall's quirky, disproportionate people scamper across the brightly colored, sometimes hard-to-read pages, helpfully distracting readers from the watered-down deep thought. This shotgun approach to anatomy and philosophy does justice to neither topic; better works are abundant. 

A really, really big and more pertinent question is: Who is the audience for this unnecessary effort? (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6892-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote...

COYOTE TALES

Two republished tales by a Greco-Cherokee author feature both folkloric and modern elements as well as new illustrations.

One of the two has never been offered south of the (Canadian) border. In “Coyote Sings to the Moon,” the doo-wop hymn sung nightly by Old Woman and all the animals except tone-deaf Coyote isn’t enough to keep Moon from hiding out at the bottom of the lake—until she is finally driven forth by Coyote’s awful wailing. She has been trying to return to the lake ever since, but that piercing howl keeps her in the sky. In “Coyote’s New Suit” he is schooled in trickery by Raven, who convinces him to steal the pelts of all the other animals while they’re bathing, sends the bare animals to take clothes from the humans’ clothesline, and then sets the stage for a ruckus by suggesting that Coyote could make space in his overcrowded closet by having a yard sale. No violence ensues, but from then to now humans and animals have not spoken to one another. In Eggenschwiler’s monochrome scenes Coyote and the rest stand on hind legs and (when stripped bare) sport human limbs. Old Woman might be Native American; the only other completely human figure is a pale-skinned girl.

Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote tales. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55498-833-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.

DON'T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE BED

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND HAUNTINGLY TRUE STORIES

A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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