Choose a less dizzying approach.



Climate change presented as an opportunity for choices.

Billed as “interactive,” this title hopes to engage its readers while offering explanations of the causes and potential effects of climate change and choices we can make to fight climate change. The pages are die cut with a uniformly sized central circle, allowing readers to spin an arrow embedded on the inside back cover to answer the decidedly leading question “would you chance it?” Each left-hand page loosely covers a topic; each right-hand page offers choices and actions the arrow can point to (“eat smart & cut emissions / don’t eat smart,” for instance). After explaining the major concepts, Miles goes on to describe effects of climate change on sea levels, weather, agriculture, ecosystems, disease. He shows that forested areas are shrinking and why they are so important in curbing the greenhouse effect. Finally he gives examples of people, young and old and around the world, who have spoken up about a variety of issues, including present-day climate activists. There is plentiful information, presented in short paragraphs and a disturbingly small font, plus definitions of important terms, questions to think about, and potential hands-on activities. The information is responsibly sourced but often rather general. A page on “Countries Working Together” doesn’t mention U.S. plans to withdraw from the World Climate Agreement. Sadly, the presentation concludes with an unsourced and quite-possibly-not-“Native American Proverb.”

Choose a less dizzying approach. (notes, further reading) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-952239-00-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bushel & Peck Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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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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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)



Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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