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Solidly research based, this may shutter some eyes, but it’s likely to open more.

Studies show that nearly half of the teens in this country don’t get enough sleep—and here’s a look at what they’re missing.

Gamely battling the inherent tendency of books about the topic to make readers drowse off, Kyi effervescently digests accumulated knowledge and recent findings from the dozens of scientific studies cited in the endnotes to highlight ways in which sleep gives our brains a chance to organize experiences, benefits our immune systems, and affects bodily functions from motor skills to weight control. She also offers nods to the history of sleep studies, from the invention of the EEG on, the stages of sleep and disorders like sleep apnea, and biochemical processes that initiate or disrupt sleep. In response to findings that teens need over nine hours of sleep a night for best results, she spends some time on the growing movement to experiment with later start times in high schools. If she spares barely a glance at the hazards and side effects of sleeping pills and leaves unmentioned the fact that animals dream too, still she covers a lot of territory in a reasonably systematic way. Some of her observations may even prompt young night owls to reexamine their habits. Aside from the occasional anatomical image, Goulet’s cartoon illustrations are just decorative…but human figures wakeful and otherwise are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Solidly research based, this may shutter some eyes, but it’s likely to open more. (index, further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0149-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A well-intentioned description of life before birth. The illustrations make use of photographs (including ultrasound) and artist’s drawings, often in the same image, and these are well used to clarify the text. How babies grow and develop inside the womb is both described and illustrated, and while the tone is one of forced cheer, the information is sound. Also offered are quite silly exercises for children to experience what life in the womb might be like, such as listening to a dishwasher to experience the sounds a baby hears inside its mother’s body, or being held under a towel or blanket by an adult and wiggling about. The getting-together of sperm and egg is lightly passed over, as is the actual process of birth. But children may be mesmerized by the drawings of the growing child inside the mother, and what activities predate their birth dates. Not an essential purchase, but adequate as an addition to the collection. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-894379-01-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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The author of The Snake Scientist (not reviewed) takes the reader along on another adventure, this time to the Bay of Bengal, between India and Bangladesh to the Sundarbans Tiger Preserve in search of man-eating tigers. Beware, he cautions, “Your study subject might be trying to eat you!” The first-person narrative is full of helpful warnings: watch out for the estuarine crocodiles, “the most deadly crocodiles in the world” and the nine different kinds of dangerous sharks, and the poisonous sea snakes, more deadly than the cobra. Interspersed are stories of the people who live in and around the tiger preserve, information on the ecology of the mangrove swamp, myths and legends, and true life accounts of man-eating tigers. (Fortunately, these tigers don’t eat women or children.) The author is clearly on the side of the tigers as she states: “Even if you added up all the people that sick tigers were forced to eat, you wouldn’t get close to the number of tigers killed by people.” She introduces ideas as to why Sundarbans tigers eat so many people, including the theory, “When they attack people, perhaps they are trying to protect the land that they own. And maybe, as the ancient legend says, the tiger really is watching over the forest—for everyone’s benefit.” There are color photographs on every page, showing the landscape, people, and a variety of animals encountered, though glimpses of the tigers are fleeting. The author concludes with some statistics on tigers, information on organizations working to protect them, and a brief bibliography and index. The dramatic cover photo of the tiger will attract readers, and the lively prose will keep them engaged. An appealing science adventure. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-618-07704-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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