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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Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.


Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Well-intentioned but likely to overwhelm the intended readers and listeners.


The cadences of a familiar nursery rhyme introduce concerns about ocean garbage and what we, who made the mess, can do to help clean it up.

With the rhyme and meter of “The House That Jack Built,” Lord builds the problem of plastic waste in the oceans from the fish that must swim through it to a netted seal, a trapped turtle, and overflowing landfills before turning to remedies: cleaning beaches and bays, reducing waste, and protesting the use of fishing nets. Two pages of backmatter describe problems in more detail, while a third elaborates potential solutions; suggestions for individual action are provided as well. Blattman’s images begin with a racially diverse group of youngsters in a small boat in the center of a plastic trash gyre. The children, shown at different angles, bob spread by spread over trash-filled waters. To accompany the words, “Look at the mess that we made,” she adds a polluted city skyline and a container ship belching smoke to the scene. Finally, the dismayed young boaters reach a beach where a clean-up is in process. From their little skiff they help scoop up trash, rescue the turtle, and wave protest signs. The message is important, even vital in today’s world, but many caregivers and many environmentalists would eschew this doomful approach as a means of introducing environmental concerns to the early-elementary audience who might be drawn in by the nursery rhyme.

Well-intentioned but likely to overwhelm the intended readers and listeners. (map) (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947277-14-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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