HOW ANIMALS LEARN

Kids will learn How Animals Learn from this cogent presentation—everything from Pavlov to problem-solving, well illustrated with photographs and diagrams (even some elementary line graphs) and salted with projects for home testing. Instinctual behavior is distinguished from different areas of learning—habituation, association, imitation, practice (but not motor skills per se). Intelligence is defined as "the ability to change behavior as a result of experience"; the authors point out, however, that intelligence is ultimately tested in the animal's ability to learn "things important to his way of life" rather than in lab test situations and that rats are especially suited to experiments because "they normally live in dark, narrow passageways that resemble lab mazes." Lorenz and imprinting, Pavlov and conditioning, Thorndike, Skinner and puzzle boxes are carefully examined and other significant research (Kohler, Krushinsky), is also reported. The chapter "Animal Tricks and Training" describes much of the entertainment-oriented Brelands' work and includes tips for shaping behavior. No reference to Piaget's work with human animals but there is a chapter on "A Time to Learn" which implicates developmental stages. As discerning as Kay's How Smart Are Animals, emphasizing learning types rather than the representative animals, and avoiding some psych class labels (generalization, discrimination), which may make this more accessible to more (and younger) readers.

Pub Date: April 15, 1969

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1969

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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