Families who believe in faith and science will thrill in the fizzy fun of Fizzlebop.



Author Eastman’s alter ego, Dr. Fizzlebop, takes on kid- and family-friendly science education.

Fizzlebop Labs presents 52 activities inspired by Scripture, one for each week of the year, along with five bonus activities for holidays. Though promoted as such on the cover, for the most part these are not true science experiments: There are no control groups nor hypotheses to be proved. Rather, they are science-appreciation activities intended to encourage the kinds of observational skills that scientists use in their work. The 52 activity guides begin at the beginning with the Creation story out of Genesis and follow on, more or less in order, through the books in the Western Christian Bible, both Old Testament and New. Each is explicitly tied to a verse or verses and includes a list of supplies, the activity’s steps, a related fact, an explanation of the principle at work, a devotional, and a prayer. An activity about density, for instance, is tied to Matthew 14:22-33, when Jesus walks on water. This setup makes it ideal for a weekly family or Sunday school lesson with built-in activity. The activities are not unique nor especially novel—most have appeared in other children’s science books many times over—but the scriptural tie-in, devotional stories, and discussion questions create a unique combo sure to appeal to families of faith and Christian educators.

Families who believe in faith and science will thrill in the fizzy fun of Fizzlebop. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4964-5816-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Tyndale Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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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