Rosenstock and Roy’s collaboration celebrates scientific teamwork and an exciting first in deep-sea exploration.

OTIS AND WILL DISCOVER THE DEEP

THE RECORD-SETTING DIVE OF THE BATHYSPHERE

Otis Barton and Will Beebe, unified in their scientific curiosity about the deep sea, team up to innovate the 5,000-pound bathysphere, making history in 1930 with their initial 800-foot dive.

The younger of the two, Barton sought out the famous explorer Beebe, correcting his prototypical calculations and sharing his own design. Rosenstock provides physical and logistical details, including how the two tall men fit themselves into a bolted-shut globe “the size of a tiny closet.” The narrative focuses on the drama, delivering bursts of information throughout the descent, as the crew above periodically halts progress to check the bathysphere’s cables. “300 feet. Stop. / ‘We’re leaking!’ Otis cried. A trickle seeped through the hatch door….Would a tiny leak stop?” At 800 feet, a double gatefold opens to the bathysphere, dwarfed by the expanse of ink-blue sea, its searchlight illuminating thick schools of fish, squid, and jellies. (The choice of a horizontal instead of vertical gatefold composition sidesteps an opportunity to visually dramatize the dangerous descent.) Roy’s multimedia paintings deliver plenty of contrasts, from boyhood scenes to events aboard the ship and undersea; endpapers depict creatures that dwell at several different ocean depths. Barton and Beebe are white; Roy depicts several male brown-skinned crew members and one white female research assistant.

Rosenstock and Roy’s collaboration celebrates scientific teamwork and an exciting first in deep-sea exploration. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, historical note, sources) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-39382-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived.

SURVIVOR TREE

A remarkable tree stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared.

Through simple, tender text, readers learn the life-affirming story of a Callery pear tree that grew and today still flourishes “at the foot of the towers.” The author eloquently describes the pre-9/11 life of the “Survivor Tree” and its heartening, nearly decadelong journey to renewal following its recovery from the wreckage of the towers’ destruction. By tracking the tree’s journey through the natural cycle of seasonal changes and colors after it was found beneath “the blackened remains,” she tells how, after replanting and with loving care (at a nursery in the Bronx), the tree managed miraculously to flourish again. Retransplanted at the Sept. 11 memorial, it valiantly stands today, a symbol of new life and resilience. Hazy, delicate watercolor-and–colored pencil artwork powerfully traces the tree’s existence before and after the towers’ collapse; early pages include several snapshotlike insets capturing people enjoying the outdoors through the seasons. Scenes depicting the towers’ ruins are aptly somber yet hopeful, as they show the crushed tree still defiantly alive. The vivid changes that new seasons introduce are lovingly presented, reminding readers that life unceasingly renews itself. Many paintings are cast in a rosy glow, symbolizing that even the worst disasters can bring forth hope. People depicted are racially diverse. Backmatter material includes additional facts about the tree.

A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived. (author's note, artist's note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-48767-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Informative yet optimistic, this cri du coeur from Planet Awesome deserves wide attention.

OUR PLANET! THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE EARTH

From the Our Universe series , Vol. 6

The sixth in McAnulty’s Our Universe series focuses on Earth’s human-caused problems, offering some family-level activities for mitigation.

Vivaciously narrated by “Planet Awesome,” the text establishes facts about how Earth’s location with regard to the sun allows life to flourish, the roles of the ocean and atmosphere, and the distinctions between weather and climate. McAnulty clearly explains how people have accelerated climate change “because so many human things need energy.” Soft-pedaling, she avoids overt indictment of fossil fuels: “Sometimes energy leads to dirty water, dirty land, and dirty air.” Dire changes are afoot: “Some land is flooding. Other land is too dry—and hot. YIKES! Not good.” “And when I’m in trouble, Earthlings are in trouble, too.” Litchfield’s engaging art adds important visual information where the perky text falls short. On one spread, a factory complex spews greenhouse gases in three plumes, each identified by the chemical symbols for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Throughout, planet Earth is appealingly represented with animated facial features and arms—one green, one blue. The palette brightens and darkens in sync with the text’s respective messages of hope and alarm. Final pages introduce alternative energy sources—wind, hydro, solar, and “human power—that’s from your own two feet.” Lastly, Earth provides excellent ideas for hyperlocal change, from buying less new stuff to planting trees. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Informative yet optimistic, this cri du coeur from Planet Awesome deserves wide attention. (author’s note, numerical facts, atmospheric facts, ideas for action, sources) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-78249-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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