MAPPING THE WORLD

From the oldest maps in the world, to mapping the earth and other planets from space, Johnson (Ferrets, 1997, etc.) introduces the world of cartography using an outstanding collection of full-color period prints and contemporary photographs. Included is a map carved on a clay tablet made in 500 b.c. in Babylonia; a road map for a.d. 1200; a world map made in a.d. 1482; using information recorded by Ptolemy in a.d. 150; a sea, or portalan chart from a.d. 1489; maps of the New World made by Spanish mapmakers around a.d. 1500; and many more. Johnson discusses the first modern atlas as well as the Mercator projection, and introduces new ways of mapping using satellites and instruments for remote sensing involving radio signals, microwaves, and computer imaging. Accessible, beautiful, and informative, this is essential for most collections. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-81813-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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BABY WHALE RESCUE

THE TRUE STORY OF J.J.

Arnold and Hewett (Stories in Stone, 1996, etc.) record the harrowing rescue of a baby gray whale who had become separated from her mother off the coast of California. She was discovered on January 10, 1997, exhausted, hungry, and near death. J.J. was 14 feet long when she was brought to SeaWorld as a young calf. Gaining 900 pounds in the first month, she had to be moved to a new home by crane. Her caretakers started planning on giving J.J. skills so that she could be released and survive on her own in the ocean. Divers put her food on the bottom of the pool, each day in a different location, so she could practice searching. Arnold is relaxed in her telling, allowing the already dramatic events to unfold naturally: “Everyone cheered as J.J. took a big breath, dove deep, and disappeared. The young whale was on her own.” Full-color photos capture the excitement of J.J.’s release, but also the hard work of preparing her for her return to the sea. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8167-4961-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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PURPLE DEATH

THE MYSTERIOUS FLU OF 1918

The title reflects the general tone of this study of the pandemic that killed half a million Americans in six months, and 20 to 40 million worldwide. After describing the disease’s symptoms (“Delirious from lack of oxygen, these young men rolled and thrashed about on their beds and cots, moaning, mumbling, and spitting up blood”), the spread, and the frantic but ineffective efforts to control it, Getz (Life on Mars, 1997, etc.) chronicles scientists’ long search for the specific cause—which involved much digging up of corpses and experiments with diseased tissue. Despite some recent breakthroughs, that search still continues for, as the author points out, though the 1976 scare turned out to be a false alarm and we are better prepared now than in 1918, new flu strains appear frequently, and we are all still potential sitting ducks for a deadly one. Period photos are interspersed with solemn, impressionistic art from McCarthy; an accessible bibliography will give a leg up to readers who want to know more. Combining cogent accounts both of a worldwide tragedy and some classic medical detective work, this is certain to please and to sober a wide audience. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-8050-5751-X

Page Count: 86

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2000

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