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

FAITH AND SCIENCE WITH DR. FIZZLEBOP

52 FIZZTASTICALLY FUN EXPERIMENTS AND DEVOTIONS FOR FAMILIES

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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A simple but effective look at a keystone species.

IF YOU TAKE AWAY THE OTTER

Sea otters are the key to healthy kelp forests on the Pacific coast of North America.

There have been several recent titles for older readers about the critical role sea otters play in the coastal Pacific ecosystem. This grand, green version presents it to even younger readers and listeners, using a two-level text and vivid illustrations. Biologist Buhrman-Deever opens as if she were telling a fairy tale: “On the Pacific coast of North America, where the ocean meets the shore, there are forests that have no trees.” The treelike forms are kelp, home to numerous creatures. Two spreads show this lush underwater jungle before its king, the sea otter, is introduced. A delicate balance allows this system to flourish, but there was a time that hunting upset this balance. The writer is careful to blame not the Indigenous peoples who had always hunted the area, but “new people.” In smaller print she explains that Russian explorations spurred the development of an international fur trade. Trueman paints the scene, concentrating on an otter family threatened by formidable harpoons from an abstractly rendered person in a small boat, with a sailing ship in the distance. “People do not always understand at first the changes they cause when they take too much.” Sea urchins take over; a page turn reveals a barren landscape. Happily, the story ends well when hunting stops and the otters return…and with them, the kelp forests.

A simple but effective look at a keystone species. (further information, select bibliography, additional resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8934-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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An amiable point-counterpoint for budding animal lovers/haters.

THE NOT BAD ANIMALS

Forty-two creatures of ill repute, from scorpions to hyenas, put on their best faces and protest that they’re just misunderstood.

In paired double-page spreads, Corrigan first presents for each animal the case for considering it scary or gross, then, with the page turn, allows it to contradict itself. “I’m creepy and I’m crawly,” a spider supposedly gloats. “I spin webs from my butt and leave them in places where I KNOW you’ll get stuck in them.” In the following spread, the spider points out that “Only half of my kind spin webs, and we really, REALLY don’t want you to get stuck in them!” Along with pointing to roles in the natural order and including many crowd-pleasing references to butts and poop, these counterarguments tend to run along the lines of the rat’s “I’m a fluffy little SWEETIE!” and the toad’s “I am a plump lump of CUTENESS!” Each testimonial is backed up by a box of background information baldly labeled “FACTS.” Readers may find the chorus of smiley faces and claims of adorability unconvincing, but they will at least come away with more nuanced impressions of each creepy-crawly. The humorous cartoon illustrations don’t measure up to the in-your-face photos of Seymour Simon’s classic Animals Nobody Loves (2001), but this gallery of beasties unfairly regarded as “icky and ewwy and downright gross” is considerably broader.

An amiable point-counterpoint for budding animal lovers/haters. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4748-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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