A sumptuous take on the perspective-broadening notion of simultaneity in an attention-grabbing format.

A MOMENT IN TIME

A PERPETUAL PICTURE ATLAS

From the StoryWorlds series

A round-the-world trip in pictures through each of our planet’s 39 time zones.

After opening with a world map keyed to said zones (with explanations for that big jog in the mid-Pacific and the fact that several zones represent only 30-minute intervals) Hegbrook kicks off his tour at 6:00 a.m. with images of curlews and a Sally Lightfoot crab on Baker and Howland Islands. From there it’s on to a peaceful bay on Niue Island at 7:00, and so westward to scenes of coffee harvesters in Colombia (1:00 p.m.), pedestrians in London and lions in Nigeria (7:00 p.m.), constellations of lights in Hong Kong skyscrapers and the skies over Perth (2:00 a.m.), and finally back around to Fiji and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Done in a painterly style, the art varies city, rural, and nature settings in a range of sizes and viewpoints, thus staving off visual monotony as well as underscoring the diversity of activities going on at the same moment. Human figures are not individualized, but they are dressed in modern rather than stereotypically national clothing and—at least in most urban settings—exhibit a range of skin colors. There’s no narrative beyond captions specifying each scene’s location and, at the very end, brief notes tied to thumbnails that identify the wildlife or activity on view. In a cute ploy that suggests the journey’s circularity and encourages viewers to begin at a random opening, the volume is split into three parts that are separated by hard covers bound zigzag fashion.

A sumptuous take on the perspective-broadening notion of simultaneity in an attention-grabbing format. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944530-07-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: 360 Degrees

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SHARKS AND OTHER UNDERWATER CREATURES!

In the wake of Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts! (2019), Lowery spins out likewise frothy arrays of facts and observations about sharks, whales, giant squid, and smaller but no less extreme (or at least extremely interesting) sea life.

He provides plenty of value-added features, from overviews of oceanic zones and environments to jokes, drawing instructions, and portrait galleries suitable for copying or review. While not one to pass up any opportunity to, for instance, characterize ambergris as “whale vomit perfume” or the clownfish’s protective coating as “snot armor,” he also systematically introduces members of each of the eight orders of sharks, devotes most of a page to the shark’s electroreceptive ampullae of Lorenzini, and even sheds light on the unobvious differences between jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of-war or the reason why the blue octopus is said to have “arms” rather than “tentacles.” He also argues persuasively that sharks have gotten a bad rap (claiming that more people are killed each year by…vending machines) and closes with pleas to be concerned about plastic waste, to get involved in conservation efforts, and (cannily) to get out and explore our planet because (quoting Jacques-Yves Cousteau) “People protect what they love.” Human figures, some with brown skin, pop up occasionally to comment in the saturated color illustrations. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 45% of actual size.)

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans. (bibliography, list of organizations) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35973-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness.

THE BRAIN IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL

An introduction to the lead guitar and vocalist for the Brainiacs—the human brain.

The brain (familiar to readers of Seluk’s “The Awkward Yeti” webcomic, which spun off the adult title Heart and Brain, 2015) looks like a dodgeball with arms and legs—pinkish, sturdy, and roundish, with a pair of square-framed spectacles bestowing an air of importance and hipness. Other organs of the body—tongue, lungs, stomach, muscle, and heart—are featured as members of the brain’s rock band (the verso of the dust jacket is a poster of the band). Seluk’s breezy, conversational prose and brightly colored, boldly outlined cartoon illustrations deliver basic information. The brain’s role in keeping the heart beating and other automatic functions, directing body movements, interpreting sights and sounds, remembering smells and tastes, and regulating sleep and hunger are all explained, prose augmented by dialogue balloons and information sidebars. Seluk points out, importantly, that feelings originate in the brain: “You can control how you react…but your feelings happen no matter what.” The parodied album covers on the front endpapers (including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Green Day, Run DMC, Queen, Nirvana) will amuse parents—or at least grandparents—and the rear endpapers serve up band members’ clever social media and texting screenshots. Backmatter includes a glossary and further brain trivia but no resources or bibliography.

A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-16700-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more