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



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

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A quick flight but a blast from first to last.


From the Everything Awesome About… series

A charged-up roundup of astro-facts.

Having previously explored everything awesome about both dinosaurs (2019) and sharks (2020), Lowery now heads out along a well-traveled route, taking readers from the Big Bang through a planet-by-planet tour of the solar system and then through a selection of space-exploration highlights. The survey isn’t unique, but Lowery does pour on the gosh-wow by filling each hand-lettered, poster-style spread with emphatic colors and graphics. He also goes for the awesome in his selection of facts—so that readers get nothing about Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, but will come away knowing that just 65 years separate the Wright brothers’ flight and the first moon landing. They’ll also learn that space is silent but smells like burned steak (according to astronaut Chris Hadfield), that thanks to microgravity no one snores on the International Space Station, and that Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon…to use the bathroom. And, along with a set of forgettable space jokes (OK, one: “Why did the carnivore eat the shooting star?” “Because it was meteor”), the backmatter features drawing instructions for budding space artists and a short but choice reading list. Nods to Katherine Johnson and NASA’s other African American “computers” as well as astronomer Vera Rubin give women a solid presence in the otherwise male and largely White cast of humans. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quick flight but a blast from first to last. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35974-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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