Memorable insights into the invisible world.

READ REVIEW

THE BACTERIA BOOK

THE BIG WORLD OF REALLY TINY MICROBES

The skinny on the really tiny.

“Did you know there are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people in the world?” In an overview of “peculiar, pulsating creatures” that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, the appropriately named Mould keeps his eye on the ick factor as he dishes out basic facts about the viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and “micro animals” with which we share the planet. He also describes how diseases are caught and spread, explains how our immune system works, and, backed by a closing timeline, covers the development of microbiology and antibiotics. All of this is parceled out in easily digestible portions and incorporated into a high-intensity visual mix of microphotos in cranked-up false color, a diverse array of human figures, and graphic images of melodramatically slavering, grimacing microbes. A debunked claim that babies are born free of germs is the only major slip in this introduction to millions of our closest neighbors, from cold viruses and beneficial (if fart-producing) gut bacteria to zombie ants and demodex mites that “walk around on our eyelids at night.”

Memorable insights into the invisible world. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7028-7

Page Count: 72

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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