WATCHING DESERT WILDLIFE

Arnosky (Crinkleroot’s Visit to Crinkle Cove, p. 892, etc.) departs from his usual wildlife settings with a trip to the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts of the American Southwest. The artist turns an eye, and a camera, on the desert’s animals, always on the lookout for a lizard darting beneath rocks or an elf owl tucked in a hole of the giant saguaro, set against a landscape of rocks and grasses. Rock squirrel and roadrunner, coral snake and turkey vulture—each provide an opportunity for sketching wildlife in its habitat. Tips for observing desert wildlife are interspersed among the comments themselves, rounded out with habits and characteristics of every creature. Writing in a conversational style, Arnosky catalogs his trip from the car window, along the dusty trail, or standing on a field, always making the factual information personal. In a volume resembling Virginia Wright-Frierson’s A Desert Scrapbook (1996), many of the detailed drawings are not only lifelike, but life-size, shown from a distance or up close, as it would appear through a telephoto lens. Glorious colors—the emerald green of a Sonoran whipsnake, the pink stain of a pronghorn’s waterhole—lift the desert landscape and its creatures out of the dust and into the light. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-7922-7304-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A quick flight but a blast from first to last.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SPACE AND OTHER GALACTIC FACTS!

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more