National Science Teachers Association
2015
2015
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Sara K Joiner
 
2015
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by Juan Carlos Alonso, Gregory S. Paul
2015
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by Mary Holland
 
2015
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by Monica Russo

Book list This wide-format guide to everything avian is a great starting point for burgeoning bird-watchers. Each chapter offers a dizzying wealth of information about birds and their songs, field markings, beaks, wings, diet, behavior, habitats, and more. Russo also includes helpful activities encouraging basic observation skills that range from the exceedingly easy (listen to bird calls; look at different types of feathers) to the more complicated (build a bird feeder; plant a hummingbird garden; help prevent window collisions). A closing chapter on bird banding, wildlife rehabilitation, and conservancy, moreover, encourages kids to consider the environment and civilization's effects both positive and negative on bird populations and reminds them of the many current laws protecting birds. Though the chapter organization is a bit confusing and the sheer volume of facts about myriad types of birds would have benefited from even more illustrations, there is enough information and photos of birds in these pages not to mention the emphasis on recording observations, a cornerstone of many scientific disciplines that those drawbacks are fairly minimal. Nature lovers will likely have a field day.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-One way to address today's "nature deficit" is to focus on the birds outside almost every window. Observation activities set off in color text boxes are designed to develop observation skills and cultivate an understanding of bird behavior. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of birds, such as field marks, beaks and feet, wings, eyes and nests, and more. Feathers make birds unique, and the first chapter describes the different kinds. Color photos of wing and tail feathers highlight their different shapes, and photographs of birds in flight show how the feathers function. One "Eyes Only" box explains that since picking up a wild bird feather is not only illegal but also not healthy, looking without touching is best. "Try This" boxes highlight such activities as bird feeding, walking like a heron, and building a small brush pile where birds can roost. One "Listen For" alerts novice bird observers to figure out different bird songs, calls and alarm signals, and the honking and quacking of birds in flight. An excellent glossary of "Bird Words" provides definitions, and the four-page index differentiates pictures from text with italics. Beautifully illustrated with full color photographs and sketches, this is sure to create new bird watchers.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Patent's lucid prose and Muñoz's clear color photos work together to document the efforts of the Montana Osprey Project, which studies the negative effects of toxic metals released into the environment during mining operations on these raptors. The book follows three scientists-Erick Greene, Heiko Langner, and Rob Domenech-as they study established pairs during the nesting season. They band osprey chicks, take blood samples and feather clippings for chemical analysis, fit birds with electronic transmitters to follow their wanderings, scoop silt from riverbeds to check for pollutants, and focus two webcams on osprey nests to check on parenting skills and chick development. The trio also talk with wildlife biology students and cooperate with locals who are fascinated by ospreys. Sidebars abound on a wide variety of topics, many pertaining to the ospreys: their biology, food, nesting behaviors, and migration patterns. Others include biographical background on the three scientists, an article on a young student and her experiments on fish in metal-contaminated waters, and information about the use of mercury in mining operations and the dangers that baling twine poses to nest building ospreys. An extensive author's note describes Patent's experience with some very far-flung pollution. VERDICT An exciting addition to a stellar series.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list From the Scientists in the Field series, this handsome volume introduces the Montana Osprey Project, beginning with an empty nest. Awaiting the annual return of the ospreys, it sits on a platform atop a tall pole. Nearby, Patent and Muñoz watch as a roofing truck lifts two scientists up to adjust a webcam aimed at the nest. Well researched and clearly written, the text offers plenty of information about ospreys in the area and the work of the scientists who study them. They band the chicks, take blood and feather samples, and track pollutants in the local environment, where heavy metals can sometimes be traced to runoff from old mines. Sidebars tackle topics such as Superfund sites, DDT, and the hazards of plastic baling twine in osprey nests. One engaging, diarylike feature pairs written observations with photos of the adult birds, their eggs, and the chicks as they grow and prepare to fly. Illustrated with many fine color photos, this is a solid addition to science collections.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Kay Frydenborg

School Library Journal Gr 6-8-This fascinating book presents a deep, multifaceted glimpse at a delectable dessert: chocolate. Engaging-even witty in places-and enlightening, it gives a history of the sweet treat, speculating about its little-known origins 1,500 years ago in the Upper Amazon Basin of South America, exploring its role in the European conquest of Central and South America, and discussing the dark side of chocolate: the use of slave labor to grow and harvest it. Frydenborg examines the development of chocolate as an industry in Europe and America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book also goes into the science of the confection, such as why it's considered so tasty and its potential health benefits. Along the way, Frydenborg seamlessly weaves in information about relevant historical figures, including confectioner Milton S. Hershey; Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov, who traced the origins of the cacao tree; and explorers such as Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizzaro. Photographs enhance readers' understanding, though the recipes and sidebars are occasionally distracting. Robert Burleigh's celebrated Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest (Abrams, 2002), aimed at elementary school students, is better designed, but those looking for a more detailed history for an older audience would do well to consult Frydenborg's work. VERDICT An excellent and highly original addition to history collections.-Shauntee Burns-Simpson, New York Public Library, Staten Island (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Frydenborg (Wild Horse Scientists) examines the considerable impact, both good and bad, that chocolate and the cacao tree have had and continue to have on cultures around the globe in this wide-ranging treatment of the subject. Primarily a chronological history of the tropical plant and its deliciously addictive by-products, the fascinating, fast-moving narrative also delves into the socioeconomic, scientific, and culinary importance of the cacao bean. Recipes, from Aztec foaming chocolate to Toll House cookies, conclude many of the 13 chapters, which include "Tree of Myth and Money" and "Candy, Food, or Medicine?" A full-color insert includes photos of the tree itself and modern-day Peruvian cacao farmers, as well as reproductions of artwork depicting Mesoamerican people and events touched by chocolate. With a rise in social justice, sustainable food sourcing, and global warming, the author considers how the crop might benefit the Amazonian rainforest and its native peoples: "Could chocolate be the key to preserving this precious, threatened ecosystem and to helping people whose livelihood depends on it?" A bibliography, website list, and time line conclude this expansive chocolate primer. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)? © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list The history of chocolate is a troubling one, riddled as it is with slavery, exploitation, and risky environmental practices, and the food itself, particularly its health benefits, is often a source of mystery. Frydenborg sets out to untangle that mystery, beginning with chocolate's vital role in ancient Mesoamerican culture, its discovery by conquistadores, and its eventual worldwide popularity. Today, as demand for chocolate starts to outpace supply, scientists and growers are seeking out ways to adopt more sustainable cultivation practices as well as searching for wild cacao trees, which might offer clues about the plant's origin. Covering controversy over labor laws, the chemical makeup of chocolate, and recent attempts to map the cacao genome, Frydenborg offers a wealth of information that will likely encourage students to think critically about the ecological and human cost of their favorite candies and maybe even prompt them to choose sustainable alternatives. This is a great choice for school projects or chocolate fans curious about their beloved treat.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Gr 6-8-This fascinating book presents a deep, multifaceted glimpse at a delectable dessert: chocolate. Engaging-even witty in places-and enlightening, it gives a history of the sweet treat, speculating about its little-known origins 1,500 years ago in the Upper Amazon Basin of South America, exploring its role in the European conquest of Central and South America, and discussing the dark side of chocolate: the use of slave labor to grow and harvest it. Frydenborg examines the development of chocolate as an industry in Europe and America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book also goes into the science of the confection, such as why it's considered so tasty and its potential health benefits. Along the way, Frydenborg seamlessly weaves in information about relevant historical figures, including confectioner Milton S. Hershey; Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov, who traced the origins of the cacao tree; and explorers such as Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizzaro. Photographs enhance readers' understanding, though the recipes and sidebars are occasionally distracting. Robert Burleigh's celebrated Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest (Abrams, 2002), aimed at elementary school students, is better designed, but those looking for a more detailed history for an older audience would do well to consult Frydenborg's work. VERDICT An excellent and highly original addition to history collections.-Shauntee Burns-Simpson, New York Public Library, Staten Island © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Darrin Lunde

Publishers Weekly Few animals are as maligned as rats, something mammal specialist Lunde knows well. "Dirty rats. Their beady eyes and naked tails make us scream. Eek! Aargh! Yikes!" he writes as a frightened woman in hair curlers tries to sweep rats off her apartment's fire escape. Lunde sets out to challenge misconceptions about these ubiquitous rodents, while introducing different rats from around the world, pointing out how they vary significantly from those seen in urban subway stations ("Not all rats have ugly, naked tails. The bushy-tailed cloud rat's tail is completely covered in fur"). Readers learn how rats scatter seeds that enable plants to grow and how laboratory rats help find cures for disease. Gustavson's typically lush oil paintings do their part to help sway opinions-his sewer rats come across as intelligent, curious, and even adorable. Ages 3-7. Illustrator's agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list Lunde starts out this closer shudder look at rats just how you might expect: in grimy subway tunnels and moonlit gutters, where rats swarm and scurry in the night. Rats are hated, hunted, trapped, and feared, and we see a harried woman bashing rats from her fire escape and rats approaching a skull-labeled mousetrap. But then Lunde, rat-apologist extraordinaire, suggests a broader view. Not all rats eat garbage; some, like the long-tailed marmoset rat, eat strictly bamboo. It continues from there: not all rats live in sewer pipes; some live in rivers. Not all rats scurry; some hop like a kangaroo. In smaller type, additional scientific information fills out further details about each atypical rat mentioned. Of course, none of this is quite enough to make rats cuddly, though there is a somewhat comical hard-luck-life expression in many of Gustavson's otherwise realistic oil depictions. The colors are especially evocative: the streaky browns of a tunnel, the steel blue of a street at night, the dark purple of mountain twilight. Rats: useful! Still kinda gross, though.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Robin Page

Book list This attractive volume looks at animals that lay eggs, the qualities of those eggs, and how the parents protect, package, carry, and incubate them. Presented on two-page and four-page spreads, each topic begins with a brief discussion, several pictures showing different species, and informative captions. This approach offers a sense of the many, varied, and sometimes surprising ways that species have developed to deal with common issues. For example, where do they lay their eggs? Yes, a nest (cowbird) is one option. But so is a bare branch (white tern), water (horned starfish), a carnivorous pitcher plant (black-spotted sticky frog), or a spider's abdomen (spider wasp). Near the end of the book, parallel panels of illustrations show a chicken and an alligator developing inside their respective eggs. Created from cut and torn papers with interesting coloration and textures, Jenkins' distinctive illustrations show up well against the white backgrounds. This intriguing presentation will be an asset to many kindergarten and primary-grade classes.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-4-Jenkins and Page present a collection of facts about animals and their eggs. The layout is divided into spreads that present a different topic ("Where should I lay my eggs?" "Egg Packaging") in an introductory paragraph. That's followed by several examples ("Incubation" describes the male emperor penguin, which keeps eggs warm in a brood pouch), accompanied by beautiful illustrations rendered in Jenkins's trademark cut-and-torn paper collages, scattered across the page, leaving the copious amount of white space characteristic of this team's style. Some cases tend toward the grotesque (readers learn that the spider wasp stings a spider, lays her eggs on its body, and leaves it as food for her hatchlings), but all are presented in a purely scientific, factual tone. A diagram at the beginning of the book gives readers a look at the actual sizes of different eggs (a tarantula's, a leopard frog's, a scorpion fish's). The work concludes with cross-sectional diagrams of chicken and alligator eggs, showing the interior at different stages of development. There's also a list of very brief facts about each of the animals pictured. VERDICT Like Jenkins and Page's other works, this delightful purchase combines big, bold illustrations with intriguing science. A solid addition to the 590s.-Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Claire Saxby

School Library Journal K-Gr 3-This attractive picture book takes a look at emus, those strange-looking, flightless birds native to Australia. Byrne's sketchy, digitally created illustrations perfectly capture the essence of these scraggly birds, and the panoramic scenes of the Australian outback in the neutral tones of an arid savannah bring depth to the book. Saxby's simple text is ideal for curious readers. Each spread includes bits of a story about one particular bird, Emu, as well as basic animal facts. The narrative follows Emu as he watches over a brood of eggs, keeps them safe, and eventually raises his young (Saxby explains that emu fathers are the primary parents, as the mothers leave after laying eggs). VERDICT A strong choice for the 590s.-Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list After Emu's mate lays her final egg and departs, he keeps the eggs safe and warm in their leafy ground nest for eight weeks, rarely leaving even to eat or drink. Finally, the eggs hatch. Emu guards the curious chicks and shows them how to find food. As they grow over the next six months, he guards them from predators. In one dramatic incident, he fights off an attacking eagle with his beak and claws. In this picture book first published in Australia, the story of Emu and his young family is printed in standard type as a read-aloud story, while small-type paragraphs in a hand-lettered font provide additional information related to elements in the narrative. A short index and a page of additional emu-related information are appended. A bit darker and edgier than standard picture-book illustrations of animals, the digital artwork is distinctive and handsome in its own way. A fine companion volume to Saxby and Byrne's Big Red Kangaroo (2015).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2015
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by Betsy Harvey Kraft

Book list Nineteenth-century engineer George Ferris wanted to contribute something breathtaking to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and this beautifully crafted picture book shows readers how, in spite of widespread doubts, he came to design the world's first, enormous Ferris wheel. Salerno's multimedia art shows Ferris' boyhood fascination with water wheels, details of his design process, and the enthusiasm of the World's Fair attendees taking a ride. Kraft packs a lot of historical information into her narrative without overpowering the exciting story of Ferris fulfilling his thrilling dream, and the lasting influence his designs have had on the world. Excellent as a research source or an addition to STEM curriculum, this volume is likely to interest readers who delight in building and designing, and maybe even those who are timid about amusement-park rides. This kid-friendly resource is a solid choice for collections in need of thrill-ride histories or engineering and invention titles. Pair with Kathryn Gibbs Davis' Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (2014) for more freewheeling fun.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 1-3-The planners of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair were looking for a spectacular, extraordinary, and never-before-seen attraction that would draw in huge crowds. The idea they eventually accepted was George Ferris's huge observation wheel-what we now call the Ferris wheel. An amazing and awe-inspiring crowd-pleaser, the wheel was 264 feet high and held 36 passenger cars, each of which could hold 60 passengers. This book chronicles the story of Ferris's invention, explains how he overcame the initial reluctance of the members of the fair committee, and describes the glorious success of the invention, despite a storm with gale-force winds that hit Chicago during the fair. The writing is crisp, clear, and descriptive, moving the story along at a quick pace. While the narrative flows smoothly, a number of thoughts and quotes attributed to Ferris are not documented. The book's strength are the dramatic, mixed-media illustrations, which capture the enormity of Ferris's wheel and its spectacular appearance when lit up at night, that steal the show. With an old-fashioned, vintage flavor perfect for the subject matter, these spreads accurately depict the wheel and Chicago in the 1800s-its buildings and its people. Pair with Kathryn Gibbs Davis's Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (HMH, 2014) for even more information about this remarkable invention. VERDICT A strong addition to book collections dealing with inventors and inventions and useful for discussing how written texts and illustrations work together.-Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Kraft and Salerno highlight the technical difficulties and skepticism that accompanied the creation of what's now known as the Ferris wheel as they profile inventor George Ferris. During preparations for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Ferris presented designs for a steam engine-driven observation wheel with 36 passenger cars. Many doubted the plausibility (and safety) of such a mechanism, but on May 1, the wheel welcomed its first passengers to soaring success. Salerno's precisely drafted illustrations give a solid sense of the era, including intricate renderings of Chicago architecture and the construction of the wheel, while Kraft creates a genuine suspense in the lead-up to its debut. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2015
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by Sneed B. Collard III

Publishers Weekly Collard explores how a forest devastated by a fire slowly recuperates, focusing on the work of biologist Richard Hutto, who studies the birds that thrive in burned forests. Photographs of birds perched atop blackened tree trunks are striking and intriguing, as is the chronicle of Hutto's meticulous field work ("Dick discovered that birds don't just use or visit burned areas. Many birds depend on them"). Individual birds like the hairy woodpecker and mountain bluebird are profiled in sidebars, and a chart lists the birds that most frequently populate new burn areas. While Collard doesn't suggest that "we should let all fires run amuck," he challenges the practice of fire suppression, pointing to how the excess dead wood and vegetation have resulted in more extreme fires. The resounding message: forest fires offer an opportunity to learn more about nature's spectacular resilience. Ages 8-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2015
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by Andrew Glass
2015
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by Michael Burgan
2015
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by Gail Gibbons
 
2015
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by Sandra Markle

School Library Journal Gr 3-6-Markle brings to life the complex, decades-long work that scientists and volunteers around the world have done to save the golden lion tamarin from extinction. As the number of monkeys dwindled due to the destruction of Brazil's Atlantic Forest, zoos implemented breeding programs. However, they were unsuccessful until researchers realized how tamarins interact in family groups. Once the numbers increased, new challenges included how to prepare zoo-raised tamarins to survive in the wild and how to provide more habitat by reclaiming pasture land to create forest corridors. Numerous photographs of the golden lion tamarins and the humans working to insure their survival introduce readers to the lives of these intriguing monkeys. VERDICT Readers gain insights into the research, hard work, and patience involved in conservation efforts while learning about a fascinating animal. A fine choice for most collections.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list Golden lion tamarins are small monkeys native to Brazil's Atlantic Forest. After centuries of logging and the encroachment of agriculture, roads, and towns, the tamarins' habitat has shrunk to a few disconnected patches of suitable forested land. The book opens with a young female who is isolated because the existing family groups in her patch of forest will not accept a second breeding female and the limited habitat will not support a new family. Attention shifts to the intriguing history of a 50-year-old movement to research tamarins, reverse the trend of their dwindling population, and enable them to thrive in the wild. Markle clearly explains the work of several scientists and acknowledges the contributions of committed Brazilians and their government to save the species through reforestation. Told in an engaging manner, the tamarin rescue story is enhanced by large, brilliant photos that appear on every page. From its endearing cover image onward, the book encourages readers to learn about this little-known species and care about its future.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs

Book list This nonfiction picture book balances information with literary language to provide an engaging choice for very young seashore scientists. Each watercolor-filled, double-page spread illustrates a moment in the life cycle of this arthropod: their nighttime arrival above the tide line to lay their eggs; the shore birds that prey on those eggs; beach walkers and environmentalists who tag individual horseshoe crabs to track migratory patterns and behavior; and the eventual departure of the hatchlings back into the ocean until the next season. Schnell weaves together the crabs' behavior and that of other creatures on the beach, including humans, which gives a well-rounded and interesting view of the beach ecosystem. Marks' watercolor-and-pencil illustrations depict a wide range of perspectives, both above and below the water, as well as a diverse cast of people and realistic renderings of horseshoe crabs. The fairly extensive back matter offers further information, including websites about different types of shore life, a map of the richest horseshoe crab mating areas in America, and activities and resources for expanded learning.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-4-This charming picture book describes the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs at Delaware Bay. Softly hued, delicately detailed watercolor spreads depict the events: the crabs gathering on the beach to mate and lay their eggs in the sand, migratory birds arriving to feast on the eggs that haven't been buried deeply enough, scientists and volunteers coming to watch, and the baby crabs eventually hatching and making their way to the sea. Brief, bold action statements introduce the different sections, and the language provides analogies children can grasp ("Some of these birds weigh only as much as a handful of paper clips. Still, they are powerful enough to fly thousands of miles."). Readers will learn about the spawning process, as well as how scientists and volunteers tag these animals for identification purposes. Thorough back matter provides more information, including how products made from the crabs can benefit people. End pages present detailed anatomical diagrams of the top and underside of a horseshoe crab. Schnell also lets readers know how they can witness the spawning for themselves. VERDICT A wonderful introduction to these creatures and the importance of monitoring them. A particularly strong addition for Eastern seaboard locations, as well as for collections across the country.-Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Steve Jenkins

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-Jenkins and Page team up once again for a glimpse into the animal kingdom. The authors outline 18 behaviors step by step, addressing readers directly as they explain how whales fish, wasps build nests, and grebes dance. Though the text is quite witty ("If you are a guy, start things off by offering a female grebe a gift of water plants"), some adults might wish for precautionary notes for the literal-minded, who might attempt to reenact instructions such as "Pop the millipede in your mouth." Impressive torn-and-cut paper collage artwork on white backgrounds work well with the conversational writing style. Students will be enthralled by the descriptions of an octopus disguising itself, a crocodile hunting for a meal, and a python swallowing a pig. The book includes single-page treatments and spreads of each behavior, with numbered directions laid out clockwise. Back matter provides additional information about the animals, such as their sizes and native environments. VERDICT Jenkins and Page present another fascinating, fun, and attractive look at the natural world.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Jenkins and Page are back with a tongue-in-cheek "how to" guide to hunting, building, and protecting oneself like more than a dozen animals. Numbered instructions, accompanied by Jenkins's always excellent paper collages, demonstrate how to repel insects like a capuchin monkey, catch a meal like a crocodile ("When an egret lands nearby to pick up one of your sticks, you know what to do"), or defend oneself like an armadillo. Beneath the irreverent tone, there's ample information about the animals' traits and behavior (and even more in an appendix), adding up to a highly enjoyable mix of science and humor. Ages 6-9. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list *Starred Review* Even if you have never wondered how to swallow a pig, one of the best ways to understand how a python accomplishes this feat is to imagine yourself doing so, following the step-by-step directions here. Similarly, readers will learn how tailorbirds sew their nests together, how beavers construct their dams, and 17 other skills that are equally intriguing or amazing. Highlights include How to Repel Insects like a Capuchin (catch a millipede, roll it around on your tongue, and rub it on your fur) and How to Crack a Nut like a Crow (fly above a busy intersection, drop the nut, wait for a car to run over it, and let the traffic light stop vehicles before retrieving the nut). Each single- or double-page presentation includes attractively laid-out instructions and a picture illustrating almost every numbered step. There's enough detail in the simply written, amusing text to make the processes interesting and informative, but an additional paragraph on each animal appears in an appended section along with an illustration miniaturized to postage-stamp size. Colorful, precise, and often striking against the white pages, the cut-paper collage illustrations fulfill their purpose beautifully. Fascinating facts presented with droll wit a winning combination.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Melissa Stewart
2015
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by Mary Kay Carson

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-The latest installment in this stellar series examines Biosphere 2, a research facility in Oracle, AZ. Biosphere 2 began as an engineering marvel and an experiment in creating a self-sustaining, closed biological system that could support a team of humans for two years. In 1993, when the original Biosphere 2 experiment ended amid controversy, few could have predicted what the future would hold for the research facility. While briefly addressing the original experiment and its triumphs and shortcomings, Carson focuses on telling a compelling story of the scientific research being conducted at Biosphere 2 today and the importance of that work in understanding our biosphere: the planet Earth. This enlightening title adeptly connects Biosphere 2's past with its present and future. Stunning photographs, clear and colorful graphics, and illuminating insets enhance the appeal, and direct quotes from the Biosphere 2 scientists are liberally incorporated throughout. The processes, products, and purposes of the research are addressed, and information about the facility's past is provided in a series of "Flashback to the Biospherians" photographic sidebars. VERDICT Highly recommended for all middle school science collections.-Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Mirus Academy Library, TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list *Starred Review* Continuing the tradition of excellence established by other award-winning titles in the Scientists in the Field series is Carson's latest on the Arizona-based research project Biosphere 2. Formerly a self-contained mini-Earth inhabited by a group of scientists for a 730-day stretch starting in 1991, Biosphere 2 now acts as a bridge between a laboratory and the real world, combining research with public education and tours. Well-organized chapters, extensive color photographs, and diagrams supplement an engaging narrative that follows several scientists and their hands-on research. Scientists whose work is explored include a biogeochemist, a marine ecologist, an earth scientist and water expert, and a sustainability expert. No longer focused on how to colonize Mars, Biosphere 2's research directly impacts people's lives. From examining how forests handle climate change and the impact of the ocean becoming more acidic, to developing a deeper understanding of the water cycle for soil erosion and predicting climate conditions, the scope of the research is vast. There's not another experiment like this in the world, says Biosphere scientist Luke Pangle. A glossary, bibliography, and extensive list of online sources provide an excellent jumping-off point for further student research. Truly eye-opening.--Barnes, Jennifer Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Suzanne Slade

Book list This dual picture-book biography of how Thomas Edison inspired Henry Ford succeeds in showing the emotional side of the life of an inventor: success requires more than just one or two or even two dozen attempts. Reinhardt's soft, amiable watercolor, ink, and colored-pencil artwork provides a lot of visual detail about both Edison's and Ford's passions, while Slade's text explains each man's inspiration and the way his inventions fundamentally changed the world. Ample source notes and a comprehensive dual time line help explain some of Slade and Reinhardt's depictions of Ford and Edison, and photo-illustrated notes about each inventor's most memorable creations provide substantial information to get kids started on research projects. While there are abundant compilations for kids about inventions and inventors, Slade and Reinhardt keep the focus solidly on the human element of frustration, persistence, and the power of a mentor. It's an unusual angle and well executed, which makes it a good fit for STEM-oriented programs as well as storytimes about the benefit of good friendships.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly "What's his secret?" That's the question dogging Henry Ford as he watches Thomas Edison's phonograph and incandescent bulb take off, while his own attempts to create steam and gas engines sputter. Slade shifts between the developing careers of both men until, while discussing engines with Edison at a dinner in 1896, Ford gets his answer: "Keep at it!" Edison shouts encouragingly. Reinhardt's mixed-media artwork includes several lighthearted moments (parallel scenes featuring Edison and Ford as children highlight the explosive results of early failed experiments). Extensive endnotes discuss Slade's and Reinhardt's processes and several of the inventions mentioned, along with a time line and source notes. It's a rewarding look at the importance of persistence, as well as the friendship that developed between these prominent inventors. Ages 6-9. Illustrator's agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Gr 3-6-Emphasizing the power of perseverance, this cheery picture book alternates between the lives of two inventors, beginning with Thomas Edison, who was 16 years Henry Ford's senior. Many of Edison's major inventions are touched on, and young Ford is portrayed as curious as to the secret of Edison's success. Ford continues to work on developing engines and designing cars and finally seizes the opportunity to meet Edison in person. The two go over Ford's designs, and Edison urges the younger man to "keep at it!" With that, Ford discovers that "he'd known Thomas's secret all along!"-a realization illustrated with a light bulb over Ford's head. The rest of the story focuses on Ford's work on creating a car for all Americans, which resulted in the Model-T. Fanciful watercolor sketches depict Edison and Ford dreaming, inventing, and working, with a variety of expressions on their faces. The drawings are framed on the page, providing an old-fashioned feel. Inset images provide details and information on their inventions. The front and endpapers are filled with sketches of various light bulbs and gears in muted brown tones. The early lives and activities of these men are covered briefly. The factual text emphasizes how both started as dreamers who took action. Back matter includes a section on Edison and Ford's friendship, more material about the inventions, author and illustrator notes, and extensive source notes with citations for dialogue and other facts. VERDICT A suitable addition for those seeking biographies of inventors.-Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Jonathan London
 
2015
2015
 
2015
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by Sy Montgomery

Book list *Starred Review* This color-changing, tentacled shape-shifter can pour itself through a hole the size of a thimble, drill through seashells with its tongue, squirt ink, and paralyze its prey with venom. There's nothing on the planet like an octopus, yet its high intelligence and prowess at camouflage have made this mollusk difficult to study. This beautiful entry in the award-winning Scientists in the Field series follows an expedition to the French Polynesian island of Moorea to study Pacific day octopuses not octopi in the wild and unlock some of the mystery surrounding this marine animal. With infectious enthusiasm, the team searches for octopuses with their dens, so the scientists can study their personalities and diet, of which little is known. Between dives, mind-boggling octopus facts are relayed, as well as the team members' backgrounds. Spectacular underwater photography shows octopuses standing tall and stately on their tentacles, while others lie coiled with their skin drawn up into peaks to mimic coral or displaying a range of colors and patterns (purple and gold, stripes and spots) that they can conjure in one-tenth of a second. Other marine life is also featured in breathtaking shots of sea turtles, dazzling fish, and giant clams. Ultimately, little new information is discovered, but this account of octopuses' lives remains endlessly fascinating.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 6-9-Searching for octopuses along the coast of Moorea in French Polynesia might sound like a dream assignment. However, these elusive mollusks are master of deceptive camouflage: boneless wonders that can ooze into impossibly small spaces and that tend to change their locations abruptly, leaving merely a tidy stack of emptied shells from past meals. Montgomery and Ellenbogen join psychologist Jennifer Mather and her team as they methodically explore Moorea's fringing reefs, recording finds of octopus dens and middens on geographic grids, meeting octopods here and there that peer curiously from their hiding places. Interspersed with this logical, systematic investigation is a series of fascinating asides: discussions of the Centre de Researches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement de Polynésie Française, of the intelligence of these evasive creatures and their amazing capability to change the color and texture of their skin, and of the coral habitats they select as dwelling places. Through sharply crafted text, Montgomery shares her enthusiasm with readers, and Ellenbogen's vibrant color photos allow a crystalline window into a very special environment. This glimpse into an alien world and mind combines biology and psychology: an exciting pairing. VERDICT Another enticing entry in a series devoted to highlighting enthusiastic scientists hard at work in the fields they love.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
 
2015
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by April Pulley Sayre

Book list Raindrops get a close-up treatment in this quietly informative picture book. In gorgeous, page-filling, full-color photos of raindrops on lush greenery, Sayre shows typical water behavior. It patters appears on a body of water dimpled by rain. It fills accompanies a waxy leaf tenuously cupping a large droplet. They magnify pairs with a raindrop distorting the spots on a lily petal. Raindrops slowly dry accompanies a picture of a rain-spattered leaf in the sun. Each clearly rendered photo focuses on drops of water as they pool, glob, drip, and slip down leaves and flowers, on beetles and lacy spiderwebs. The spare words altogether are loosely rhythmic, and the simplicity of the motion-based vocabulary is mostly effective at demonstrating what's happening in the photo. It's the rich visuals, however, that steal the show. Not only do the photos beautifully capture water in action but they zoom in on things most kids could see in their own backyards or neighborhoods an especially useful approach for visual or hands-on learners. An author's note explains the water cycle in more detail.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly "Raindrop spangles/ mark angles./ They cling to curves/ and cover cocoons." In playful rhymes and breathtaking nature photography, Sayre offers a dramatic examination of a rain shower as droplets soak birds, roll down pumpkins, dot the backs of insects, and muddy the forest floor. Sayre's close-up photographs are startling in their intimacy-a bead of water seems to defy gravity as it pools precariously on a green leaf, while dozens of tiny drops illuminate a spider's feather-light web. These images alone are enough to make the book a treasure; an informative closing section exploring water's forms, behavior, and characteristics is icing on the cake. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Starred Review. K-Gr 2-This first-rate book highlights the beauty and wonder of rain-a seemingly commonplace occurrence-and shows its effects upon the rest of the natural world. In general but lyrical terms, the work explains what raindrops do ("Raindrops settle. They slip. They dot."). The text is accompanied by scenes from a forest rainforest (drops clinging to flowers or spider webs, insects and birds dealing with the downpour). Sayre has created a poetic atmosphere, using rhyming words ("Raindrop spangles/mark angles."), and her vibrant, close-up photographs, which effectively complement the narrative and will engage children and adults alike. The last two spread, titled "A Splash of Science," offer information on the three forms of water (ice, liquid water, and water vapor) and their characteristics. This attractive work is also ideal for read-alouds and an easy entry for students delving into nonfiction reading, especially in poetry or science units. This excellent title will transform how readers think about rain.-Tracey Wong, P.S. 54/Fordham Bedford Academy, Bronx, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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Tam O Shaughnessy

Book list There are plenty of biographies of Sally Ride, but few have as much insider knowledge as this one, written by Ride's partner, who was present for many of the pivotal moments in the astronaut's life. Each glossy page is plastered with photos and memorabilia, and her tone is conversational and intimate, as if sharing a beloved family story. O'Shaughnessy begins with Ride's childhood interest in science and tennis, before moving on to her study of physics and groundbreaking career at NASA. She speaks of Ride's homosexuality frankly, if a little abruptly, and writes pointedly about her frustration with gender inequality. She also emphasizes Ride's love of learning sometimes her grades weren't stellar (readers even get a peek at her report cards), but she didn't let that get in the way of pursuing her dream of space travel. Ride was notoriously private, and this glimpse into her life and background will be both eye-opening and inspiring for many young readers. The irresistible photos and appealing page layouts make it an especially good pick for reluctant readers.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Narelle Oliver

Book list Dead Heart is one of earth's most inhospitable places a desert in the isolated center of Australia. In spite of the harsh conditions, it is teeming with life and offers some of the best examples of adaptation on the globe. Using the journals of Charles Sturt, a British explorer who, in 1844, was one of the first Europeans to brave Australia's interior, Oliver seamlessly weaves a true narrative with stunning artwork and a scientific catalog of animal life. She uses Sturt's fruitless search for an inland sea to walk readers through scrubland, desolate fields of red-hot rock, and endless sand dunes. These places that so few humans ever visit are home to all manner of animals, from geckos and honey ants to marsupials and snakes, each with its own peculiar adaptation for survival. Oliver's expressive and detailed linocut illustrations, filled in with earth-toned colored pencil, include a numbered index of all the species mentioned. Using primary sources, firsthand experiences, and scientific observations, Oliver manages to marry human and natural history into a beautiful and symbolic book about perseverance.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-This picture book gives readers an enchanting look at the Australian wilderness. The succinct narrative is rife with visual imagery ("frogs burrow deep into the forest clay and make a waterproof cocoon, like plastic wrap"), and the beautiful illustrations, rendered in detailed pen and ink, depict the colors of the desert, from turquoise to rust, Oliver portrays Australia's unique geographic center: the Dead Heart, home to a host of extraordinary flora and fauna. Children will learn about a notable British explorer, Charles Sturt (1795-1869), who led several expeditions into Australia in search of an inland sea. The addition of Sturt will cultivate interest in the historical aspects of discovery and further enhance the descriptions of the desert itself, such as the mention of spinifex (a "strange prickly grass") that frequently entrapped Sturt's horses. Boxed graphics, pictorial borders, and indigenous language etymology further elaborate detailed descriptions of this strange yet wonderful ecosystem. Highly recommended for science and history collections.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Matthew Clark Smith

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-This enchanting picture book biography examines the life and work of 19th-century French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre. Fairy tale-like in tone, the first few pages will easily draw in children, as Smith describes the actions of an old hermit who was considered a local eccentric by those in his village for his habit of speaking to animals and collecting insects ("Whether he was a sorcerer, or simply a madman, no one could agree."). The villagers were shocked, however, when Fabre received a visit from the president of France. Readers are then taken back in time to learn about Fabre's childhood, education, and ever-present interest in the natural world, as well as his unconventional teaching and writings on insect behavior. Indeed, he often shocked fellow scientists with his bizarre findings. Smith's engaging text conveys Fabre's zeal for his subject, while Ferri's gorgeously detailed watercolor and pencil illustrations of plant life and insects beg readers to stop and look both at the pages as well as at the natural world around them. Historical and author's notes and a useful time line add further context. VERDICT A must-have.-Jennifer Wolf, Beaverton City Library, OR © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly First-time author Smith offers a rewarding overview of naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre, opening his recounting in southern France, where the elderly scientist was a figure of mystery, known for collecting and speaking to animals: "Whether he was a sorcerer or a madman no one could agree." Village curiosity peaks when the president of France arrives to speak with Fabre. Smith then backtracks to explore the often melancholy life of his subject, who found solace and splendor studying and writing about insects. Ferri's vibrant watercolor-and-pencil illustrations revel in the details and diversity of the insects that so fascinated Fabre, while end notes offer extensive historical background to bolster this rousing tribute to the rewards of following one's passions. Ages 6-9. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list When the president of France arrives in the small village of Serignan, no one expects he is there to announce that the bug-crazy old man who lives there has been nominated for a Nobel Prize. Nineteenth-century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre, the insects' poet, spent his life enraptured by the natural world, studying it and sharing his knowledge whenever he could. His journey from enthusiast to lauded scientist, however, was rife with setbacks. Smith recounts Fabre's early years spent observing small wonders, before discussing his time as a teacher, a position he lost due to his controversial views. Eventually, he earned his reputation through prolific, lyrical, and accessible scientific writing. Ferri's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are marked by vitality and light, and readers will love seeing the different bugs crawling about the pages. Further information on Fabre's life is appended in a historical note and time line. A comprehensive and tender account of one of science's lesser-known figures that will have kids itching to grab their bug jars and get outside.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by DK
2015
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by Alexandra Siy

Publishers Weekly In this companion to Bug Shots (2011), Siy explains that arachnids are worthy of fascination, not fear. Kunkel's electron micrograph photographs zoom in on the subjects, giving them an almost puppetlike appearance, even as the descriptions convey their predatory natures. "Toxic venom is delivered through an opening near the end of each fang, similar to the opening in a hypodermic needle," Siy writes of the brown recluse. Vibrant coloring makes it easy to identify the spiders' anatomical features, and after learning about bionic eyes, "ballooning" spiderlings, and other topics, readers should be impressed by the arachnids' versatility and capability, even if they aren't quite ready to cuddle up with them. Ages 6-10. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Gr 4-6-A brilliantly colorized microphotograph of a jumping spider crouches on the dust jacket like some alien nightmare, an electric lure to attract browsers to the many enlightening pages that follow. Many other Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) photos, also colorized, are strewn about, offering vivid details of spinnerets, fangs, and eye patterns; regular color photos of spiders are included as well. The writing flows well, and Siy discusses a wide selection of arachnid topics-basic physiology, behaviors, and silk, for instance-before branching into specific varieties. Some of the species examined are the diving bell spider, the daddy longlegs spider (not to be confused with the equally long-legged harvestman), the wolf spider, and, of course, the black widow. Asides on topics such as courtship, parenting, and web-building are interspersed throughout, and the book ends with Siy delving into how she and Kunkel identified an unknown spider sample. She also explains how the dramatic SEM photos so liberally lavished throughout were taken and colorized. Back matter, which features information on eye-patterns, an identification key to eight common orders, and a segment on spider classification, is sure to delight educators. Similar in scope to Seymour Simon's handsome (nonindexed) Spiders (HarperCollins, 2004, 2007) and Nic Bishop's dramatic Spiders (Scholastic, 2007), this eye-catcher will appeal to students. VERDICT Arresting photos and illuminating text weave a neat web to capture readers.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list Featuring abundant boldly colored visuals and a wealth of information, Siy and Kunkel (Bug Shots, 2011) offer a lively introduction to spiders. The book first covers general characteristics and behaviors, from their physical makeup to how they create silk. Then they go on to discuss 10 spider types, such as black widows, tarantulas, and orb-weavers, as well as the diving bell spiders, which live underwater. Siy's clearly written text then addresses spiders' unique aspects, typical life cycles, and whether they're poisonous to humans. Siy conveys scientific concepts and terminology very well, and her text is nicely complemented by Kunkel's detailed, vivid photographs and digitally enhanced electron micrographs, all of which are accompanied by descriptive captions. Though some squeamish or bugphobic folks might balk at the large photos (and shudder to learn about common household hiding spaces for spiders), readers will come away with a fairly comprehensive understanding of spiders and spider diversity. The extensive back matter includes the typical elements as well as a guide for recognizing and identifying particular spiders by eye pattern.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Marilyn Grohoske Evans
 
2015
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by Jessie Hartland

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-Hartland ably captures the many facets of entrepreneur and innovator Steve Jobs in this graphic biography. Jobs's entire lifespan is here, from his precocious childhood tinkering to his determination to see his final product, the iPad, through before his untimely death. In between, Hartland portrays Jobs in all his geeky, passionate, difficult glory. This work doesn't shy away from Jobs's demanding, perfectionist side, but it also portrays his delight in the "perfect product": an odd mixture that Hartland describes as Jobs's "reality distortion field." Apple is, of course, center stage, and readers will find the graphic representation of the evolution of various Apple products helpful. Hartland also covers Jobs's ouster from Apple in 1985, his development of the NeXT computer, and his work with Pixar. Throughout, panels depicting the latest technology (for instance, color TVs and digital watches in the late 1970s, cordless phones and the Sony Walkman in the 1980s) provide readers with a feel for competing products. The artwork is deceptively simple, at first blush appearing like the doodles of an average teenager, but these loose, expressive illustrations are detailed and convey large amounts of information. VERDICT Luddites and iFans alike should find this volume an illuminating introduction to Jobs's life and the recent history of consumer electronics.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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School Library Journal Gr 5-8-A recounting of Jobs's life story is distilled through the context of the technological development that Apple helped advance. Loose and scrabbly artwork with handwritten narration makes the story accessible and informal. Jobs is portrayed as motivated to explore new challenges and readers are encouraged to innovate their own world accordingly. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Harland brings the style of simple drawings paired with easy-to-digest facts she used in her first novel, Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child, to a breezy yet thorough illustrated biography of Apple pioneer Jobs. Beginning with his literal birth and following through the important moments of his life, Harland's take is both engaging and educational, though not especially demanding of the reader. The black and white art is unrefined but pleasant and contributes to the overall tone, which is effortlessly charming without being terribly enlightening or revealing. Harland uses the page layouts to full advantage, with maps, diagrams and call-outs galore. Though it's certainly informative for all ages, some readers will yearn for something with more depth and complexity in its execution, even as they whiz through the Richard-Scarry-for-grown-ups pages. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list Recently, there have been a multitude of biographies about Steve Jobs; author and illustrator Hartland adds to the collection with a unique yet informative look at the subject in this graphic biography. Covering his formative years challenging authority, to his time founding and then re-creating Apple, Hartland explains his life and the technology of his time while not shying away from Jobs' many eccentricities and erratic behaviors. Although there is always a smile drawn on Jobs' face, Hartland shows his many frustrations with technology, his anger toward his coworkers, and his hurt over his eventual cancer diagnosis. But her prose never judges his intentions or motives; she simply states the facts, providing a thorough history of a complex man. Hartland's signature squiggle style and handwritten text create a disarming, intimate view of the subject, as does the lack of any color. Like Job's innovative designs, her approach is sleek and simplistic, covering just what is needed while still standing out from the competition.--Blenski, Peter Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Kopel Burk and Rachelle Burk
 
2015
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by Buzz Aldrin

School Library Journal Gr 4-8-Drawing on his experiences as an astronaut, Aldrin takes readers on a journey to the Red Planet. Written in the first person, Aldrin's narrative addresses his audience as though they are part of the first group to populate Mars. The history of space travel is covered-students will get a sense of just how much has been discovered over the years to make this "journey" a possibility-as well as what we know about Mars itself (the surface, gases, dust). Aldrin discusses what readers will need to do to successfully inhabit the planet, such as finding a home and growing food. Activities including making "Swiss cheese" terrain and comparing the sizes of Mars and Earth are interspersed throughout, offering potential astronauts an idea of what to expect on a voyage to Mars. Colorful images, a time line, and a map of Mars enhance the text. VERDICT A solid option for readers doing school reports or those curious about exploring a new frontier.-Denise Moore, formerly at O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list Apollo 11 astronaut Aldrin welcomes young people to his crew for a journey to build the first city on Mars, while related passages fill in information about the planet and the challenges of colonizing it. Aldrin wrote the book with Dyson, a science writer, physicist, and one-time NASA flight controller. The text includes first-person narrative passages directed at the reader (It will be our job to build the first city on Mars), as well as fact-packed informational sections. Brightening almost every page of this colorful book are photos, NASA images of space objects, and digital pictures (sometimes incorporating photo elements) of imagined scenes that occasionally look stilted. A number of hands-on activities are included, with small-print directions and modest photos as illustrations. The book's text and the visuals sometimes strike a tone intended for younger kids, while at other times they seem to target an older audience. Aldrin's name will draw readers among space-exploration fans, including the many who see Mars as the next frontier.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2015
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by Simon Winchester

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Winchester, a journalist and former geologist, examines earth-shaking phenomena. In the opening pages, the author discusses his experience on a university research team that confirmed the key scientific theory of continental drift; his powerful writing conveys the excitement of discovery. After this first chapter, descriptions of earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunamis are told in the third person. This contrast between personal narrative and straightforward factual writing is incredibly effective and makes the book an excellent mentor text for demonstrating the differences among various narrative styles. The visuals, too, are strong. Spectacular photographs are included, such as an aerial view of the San Andreas fault and images of the devastation following the 2004 tsunami. A reproduction of Edvard Munch's The Scream is included, and Winchester explains that the vivid sunset that the artist portrayed was caused by dust from the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa. There are several diagrams of cross-cuts of the rock formations found below the surface of the earth (with simple yet thorough captions). Information about the Richter scale and a similar scale that describes volcanos' intensity are also incorporated. The in-depth index is outstanding. An afterword warns readers of the importance of protecting the planet, and Winchester closes with the words "We inhabit this planet subject to geological consent-which can be withdrawn at any time, and without notice." VERDICT A must-buy for libraries serving middle school, this title works both as a basic overview of earth science and as a fine example of how to incorporate personal narrative into nonfiction.-Amy Thurow, New Glarus School District, WI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2015
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by Terri Farley

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Wearing her heartfelt agenda on both sleeves, Farley focuses on the plight of feral horses in this country, which are, in her view, being brutally rounded up by the thousands and either relocated or auctioned to "kill buyers" for animal food. Along with statistics (which, she claims, are hard to pin down due to government "secrecy and disorganization"), she presents comments from researchers, uncomfortably explicit eyewitness reports from observers, and even a set of tweets that she sent during an auction as evidence of ongoing cruel treatment and poor management. In appeals to the emotions that are underscored by Farlow's lyrical photos of mustangs running free or posing in graceful stances, Farley also describes the social behavior of wild horses, their history on this continent (cogently arguing that they are still "native species" despite having died out and later reintroduced by European settlers), and the achievements of rescue workers from early champion Velma Johnston to nine young current activists. VERDICT An urgent call to action, supported with detailed endnotes and a substantial bibliography.-John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Wild horses were officially declared symbols of the American West in 1971, but it was a long road to get them there, and the effort to protect them is far from over. From the campaign of animal-rights activist Velma Johnston (known as Wild Horse Annie), beginning in the 1950s, to the efforts of teenagers today, a small but determined group has fought to preserve wild mustangs and to combat the unethical treatment they still face. This volume reaches back into the evolutionary history of the horse before turning a sharp eye to the herd dynamics of wild herds today and the danger mustangs are in due to rough roundups that end with many being sent to slaughterhouses. Interspersed throughout the text are various eyewitness accounts that detail the actions of activists, photographers, and advocates, both on the range and at auctions. The finished book boasts a crisp, square layout with exceptionally eye-catching photography, and a final chapter on children and teens involved in the fight to save wild horses is particularly evocative and will surely usher in a new generation of activists.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2015 Booklist

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2014
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written by Cathryn Sill ; illustrated by John Sill

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-It can be easy to forget that sometimes readers just need a simple concept, presented without bells and whistles: this book does just that. Each two-page spread features a single sentence describing types of forests, their characteristics, and why they are important, while the facing page contains a lush and verdant full-page watercolor painting of the scene, complete with animals and other plant life. Captions identify the specific plants and animals depicted (e.g., Question Mark Butterfly, Red-Spotted Salamander). Additional information about each spread can be found in the afterword. The glossary contains more technical terms about forests than appear in the text. While the definitions are simply written and comprehensible, no pronunciation guide is available, leaving young readers to guess how one would say "deciduous" or "epiphyte." This a relatively minor quibble, however, as the text itself is quite clear and written for beginning readers, although it could easily lend itself to classroom reading. Also included is a map of where different types of forests can be found throughout the world. This is another strong series book for the Sills and would be a fine addition to elementary school and public libraries.-Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries, OH (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Teachers of young children will welcome this sixth volume of the About Habitats series. Using basic language, Cathryn Sill writes one sentence to describe each of John Sill's beautifully detailed color illustrations. The book's double-page format is perfect for group or one-on-one viewing; on the left page is the centered large text with a smaller plate description on the inside bottom corner, and on the right is the full-page color painting. The three elements work together to help children understand the different types of forests, the trees common to each, and even the birds and animals that live in the respective areas. Detail in the paintings can even be used to allow children to find and identify the wildlife. For adults, the afterword shows a smaller version of each color plate with a much more detailed description. The addition of pronunciations to the glossary would have been nice; still, this is an effective, gentle, and realistic introduction.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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by Cathryn Sill and John Sill
2014
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by Jenny Broom

Publishers Weekly Designed to mimic the experience of visiting a natural history museum, this elegant, eye-catching volume (first in a planned series) explores the animal kingdom through gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that resemble vintage taxonomical plates. Each "gallery" is devoted to a different class of animal: invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Within, Broom and Scott highlight individual species, which are succinctly described: the tomato frog of Madagascar "is nocturnal, burying itself in the moist earth during the day and emerging to hunt at night." It's easy to imagine these exquisite images hanging in the gilded hallways of a museum, but unlike a museum, readers can take this experience along with them. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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by Dawn Cusick

School Library Journal Gr 3-5-These two animal-focused nature books will make kids sit up and take notice. The attractive photos from the National Wildlife Federation show bald eagles performing acrobatics in mid-air; zebras delivering a swift kick, leaving lion predators in their dust; shape-shifting spiders; and a South American male frigate bird with a bright red "bubble chin." The upbeat, accessible text is factual and entertaining, including funny headers and the occasional joke ("What's worse than a jaw of sharp, curved teeth? Two jaws, that's what!"). Each installment contains practicable "Scavenger Hunt" ideas to cultivate scientific observation skills. While younger students will love the vivid photos, older ones will appreciate the informative material. Solid wildlife overviews.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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by Dawn Cusick

Publishers Weekly This inviting introduction to animals, created in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, collects wow-worthy animal feats, focusing on defense methods, foraging, and anatomical extremes. The photo-heavy format introduces dozens of species, highlighting their characteristics in brief, plainspoken captions ("Many animals... eat snow every day in the winter to get water"). No one species gets examined in-depth, with Cusick instead hopscotching across species and habitats to deliver an array of intriguing tidbits about the surprising ways animals feed ("Nectar bats use their hollow, tube-like tongues the way we use soda straws"), survive, and thrive. Available simultaneously: Animals That Make Me Say Ouch! Ages 7-10. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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Christine Liu-Perkins ; with illustrations by Sarah Brannen

Book list *Starred Review* There is quite a good selection of youth titles that deal with archaeological finds, but this well-researched book about a remarkable discovery takes readers somewhere they've never been before: China, 150 years before the time of Christ. Although the two mounds that look like a saddle have been a focal point in the Changsha area of south-central China for more than 2,000 years, it wasn't until 1971 that archaeologists began excavating these ancient tombs, and what they uncovered was astounding. The books made of bamboo, the lacquer dishes, the carved wooden servants all would have been priceless finds on their own. But there was also a body of a woman so well preserved that her skin was still soft and pliable. During an autopsy, doctors found they could discern her illnesses and what she had had for her last meal! And this was no anonymous woman. Artifacts gave her name and her position: she was Lady Dai, the wife of a high official during the early Han dynasty. Liu-Perkins does an excellent job of making kids care about this discovery (well, the photo of Lady Dai's remains does draw them in). Just as important, she explains a wide variety of topics silk making and funeral practices, to name a few easily packing in a great deal more information. Delicate original art juxtaposes well with the many photos of artifacts, making this a handsome as well as an intriguing offering.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 6-10-In 1972, archaeologists made an astonishing find at a site called Mawangdui near Changsha, China. Inside an ornate coffin nested three other elaborate ones, and wrapped in many layers of fine silk lay the body of a woman, buried for over two millennia but whose skin was soft and supple. Buried with her were many treasures, including foodstuffs that, amazingly, looked fresh enough to be eaten upon discovery. More than a year later, two other tombs within the same burial chamber were unearthed-those of the woman's husband and son, though their remains were far more degraded. In time, the woman was identified as "Lady Dai," the name by which she is now commonly known, the widow of the Marquis of Dai, a high official during the Han Dynasty. Her story makes for fascinating reading. The writing is accessible, and each of the well-organized chapters delineates all the treasures that were found in Lady Dai's and her son's tombs-and how the finds have brought the world of ancient China to vivid, illuminating life. Chapters open with an illustration and an imagined scene written in the present tense-a device the author has used to bring readers directly into Lady Dai's world. Budding forensic scientists will appreciate the information and pertinent photographs about how the woman's body was preserved after her death in 158 BCE and about the modern-day autopsy performed on her. The book benefits from handsome design: photographs are of high quality, and illustrations, maps, and diagrams are attractive and helpful. This volume will serve as an interesting browser and as a fine supplementary resource in units on ancient China.-Carol Goldman, Queens Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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by Caitlin Oandapos;Connell ; photographs by Caitlin Oandapos;Connell and Timothy Rodwell

School Library Journal Gr 2-4-In this account of a journey into the scrub desert of Namibia, readers meet a newborn elephant and her family. Children learn about Liza's early accomplishments: walking within hours, keeping up with the herd as they travel, and learning how to use her trunk and what is safe to eat. The animals walk 10 to 20 miles a day to find food, with the babies hidden behind their mothers or under them between their legs. This is a beautiful story told with care and compassion. It is obvious that the author has great respect for these animals and hopes to inspire that same feeling in her readers. The text is illustrated with beautiful photographs of elephants bathing, rolling in the mud, and moving from place to place, and there are wonderful pictures of Liza with her bright pink ears and underbelly-even her toenails are pink. A "Did you know?" section provides more facts about elephants, and a note explains how fortunate the author was to be able to witness an elephant birth in the wild. The book has plenty of factual information for reports and will be appreciated by animal lovers.-Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Adairsville, GA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Nicely illustrated with photographs, this book invites children to observe a family of elephants in the Namibian scrub desert over a period of months. The text and photos focus mainly on Liza, a newborn cared for by her mother, aunt, brother, cousin, and extended family members. O'Connell, the subject of The Elephant Scientist (2011), a volume in the Scientists in the Field series that she coauthored with Donna M. Jackson, discusses matters such as how elephants communicate, greet one another, feed their babies, and protect their young from lions. Printed in large type, the text is relatively short but informative. The crisply reproduced photos, taken in the field by O'Connell and her husband, Rodwell, illustrate points made about the family of elephants and their surroundings. Two appended pages provide additional facts about the African elephants' dwindling habitat, aquatic ancestry and relatives, communication, teeth, and lives in captivity. A valuable addition to library collections on elephants.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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by Tammy Enz and Agnieszka Biskup ; Batman created by Bob Kane
2014
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Loree Griffin Burns ; photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz
 
2014
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Cheryl Bardoe ; illustrated by Alan Marks

School Library Journal Gr 1-4-While transforming animals' waste products into life-giving material, dung beetles perform a vital cleaning service to the environment. This overview of the three types of dung beetles sometimes uses fanciful language, e.g., the "dung-pat pie fresh from the oven," but rather than distract, it lightens the topic. Often arriving within 15 seconds of the "drop," the dwellers, rollers, and tunnelers compete fiercely for control of the fresh poop. Each species extracts nutrient-filled moisture from the warm material, either on the spot (dwellers) or as they roll it off or push it into tunnels. Vivid watercolor and pencil illustrations show the life cycle of these flying, crawling creatures. The narrative is divided on each spread, with brief text on one page and a more detailed explanation on the other. The lowly dung beetle was exalted in ancient Egypt, and its vital role in nature is beautifully recognized once again.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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written by Melissa Stewart ; illustrated by Constance R Bergum

Book list On the hottest day of the year, three kids put on sunscreen, sip lemonade, and run through their backyard sprinkler to cool off. But what do animals do in hot weather? Stewart and Bergum, who previously collaborated on When Rain Falls (2008) and Under the Snow (2009), tell and show what happens on a sweltering day in a field, in a desert, in a wetland, and at the seashore. From earthworm to fiddler crab, from horned lizard to herring gull, each animal deals with high temperatures in its own way. Finally, the sun sets and evening comes, bringing cooler temperatures for all. The second half of the book is unusual in that it includes the cooling strategies of creatures living in shallow water as well as those of land animals, insects, and birds living nearby. The short text tells just enough about each animal to make its story interesting, while the handsome watercolor paintings illustrate each species and its habitat effectively. A quiet, informative read-aloud choice for the dog days of summer.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

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2014
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by Camilla de la Bedoyere
 
2014
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written by Sy Montgomery ; photographs by Nic Bishop
2014
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by DK

Book list Geared toward an older readership than Woodward's Everything You Need to Know about Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures (2014), this expansive, color-visual-laden volume explores various dinosaurs and other beasts of the Mesozoic to Cenozoic eras. Following an introductory overview of dinosaurs, sections are divided into chronological time periods, starting with Triassic. Each features a map and period-specific information on environment, climate, and animal and plant life. Commentary, scientific facts, and hypotheses are interspersed throughout. Page-dominating CGI/digital creature renderings range from photorealistic, dramatic depictions to occasionally cartoonish illustrations. A concluding Dinosaur Science section further looks at fossils; their excavation and restoration; historic fossil-hunters; recent research methods; dinosaur biology, evolution, and extinction; and modern-day relatives, like birds. The information is not always easily accessible layouts can be cluttered with cutlines, sidebars, and scattered info-snippets in small type, and the book lacks pronunciations. However, for those budding paleontologists and dinosaur fans willing to dig a little, there's a wealth of material on this ever-evolving subject.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2010 Booklist

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2014
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by Sarah Hoagland Hunter ; illustrated by Susan Spellman

Publishers Weekly Hunter (The Lighthouse Santa) introduces a seven-year-old autistic girl named Mimi, who discovers a sea turtle on the beach in Cape Cod and refuses to leave it there. "Dead as a doornail," insists one of the locals, but a representative of the Massachusetts Audubon Society gives Mimi hope when he's called to pick up the turtle: it may just be "cold-shocked" after being trapped in the waters of the cape. Hunter gives an honest, unsentimental portrait of Mimi's developmental difficulties, and the emotional range of Spellman's (Oscar the Herring Gull) watercolors underscore the important connection Mimi makes with the rescued turtle, Ridley 3. After Ridley 3 is moved to an aquarium to rehabilitate, Mimi tries to help feed it with tongs. "?'Eat, turtle,' she said, tickling the sides of its mouth.... It was the first time Mimi had ever put her own sentence together." In a moving epilogue set 30 years in the future, Mimi re-appears as an adult scientist, driving home the idea that the oft-repeated message of the title applies to more than just turtles. Ages 5-9. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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by Ann O Squire
2014
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Steve Jenkins

Book list This attractive, large-format volume introduces eyes in the animal kingdom. Large, colorful, and sometimes arresting, the illustrations will draw many young children, but they will find the vocabulary and concepts challenging. While the introduction briefly discusses the history and types of eyes, it does not provide the basic background that kids will need to understand the information given later. A typical entry features one animal on a page or a double-page spread. Jenkins seeks to amaze and inform with factoids, such as that the basketball-sized eyes of the colossal squid can detect the faint glow of tiny bioluminescent creatures when they are disturbed by an approaching sperm whale, the squid's archenemy. The writing seems complex for the intended audience, but the artwork is handsome and well composed; each image is a subtle, intricate paper collage. There's no indication of the animal's actual size until the back matter. Still, browsers will enjoy the illustrations, while teachers might find this a useful visual resource for showing a wide variety of animal light-sensors and eyes.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 3-6-The ability to perceive light and dark first developed in simple animals approximately 600 million years ago. Since that time, multiple variations of eyes have evolved from four main types: eyespot, pinhole, compound, and camera. Toward the end of the book, Jenkins devotes a page to describing the "evolution of the eye," enabling readers to easily follow the changes. Jenkins's outstanding torn- and cut-paper illustrations offer a fascinating look at these important organs, which range in size from the tiniest holes (starfish) to basketballs (colossal squid). Eyes not only allow animals to find food and avoid predators but can also assist in swallowing food and aid in attracting a mate. Large, colorful pictures of more than 20 animal eyes are accompanied by a small illustration of the entire creature and a brief paragraph of intriguing information (for example, as a halibut ages, one eye moves until both end up on the same side of its head, the panther chameleon can operate both eyes separately, and the hippopotamus has a clear membrane that enables it to see while underwater). Animal facts, a bibliography, and a glossary round out this slim volume that will captivate readers of all ages.-Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Jenkins zeroes in on animal eyes in his latest merging of science and artistry. Subjects include the colossal squid (each of its eyes are "the size of a basketball-the largest of any animal"), the panther chameleon ("it can look in two directions at once"), and the tarsier, which has eyeballs larger than its brain. As usual, Jenkins carefully crafts his animals from torn and cut paper, creating an array of textures and a striking sense of detail, whether an animal is furry, feathery, or scaly. The eye, with its intricate structure and symbolic resonance, is an ideal focus for Jenkins's inquisitive, informative narrative and multidimensional art. Ages 6-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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by Paul Fleischman

School Library Journal Gr 6 Up-Written in a lively style, lavishly illustrated, and timely in its subject matter, this well-researched book is a call to action: now is the time to save our environment. The author describes his technique as getting altitude, or getting above the problem, to see the big picture. Rather than simply offering a list of simple things kids can do to help the environment, he offers more complex solutions for becoming aware of the issues, such as noticing that there is a problem, becoming aware of defense mechanisms preventing people from acting, and learning about systems like capitalism that allow environmental threats to continue. Each chapter, divided into nifty topic-highlighted paragraphs, is filled with historical facts and current events, sidebars, photographs, and definitions of key terms. Backstories, including the oil embargo, the ozone crisis, and the Kyoto Protocol, are presented along with a section on how to weigh information (evaluate the media, follow the money, and check for fallacies). The presentation of facts and the author's positive message are what shine here. An excellent and thought-provoking take on a well-worn subject.-Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community College, Mt. Carmel (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Starred Review. History is happening right here and right now, writes Newbery Medalist Fleischman in this challenging and provocative overview of current environmental and sociological problems, which urges readers to think critically and broadly about the world. Throughout, Fleischman gives readers a toolbox of deciphering skills with which to recognize-for starters-the vested interests that guide decisions made by those in power, media and PR distortions, and both real and shadow solutions. Photographs, sidebars, and an array of suggested resources bolster the hard truths outlined (Solving the environment requires looking straight at reality and calculating the costs of our lifestyle and options). Few readers will look at the world the same way after finishing this book. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list *Starred Review* This remarkable book offers young people the tools they need to become informed, responsible global citizens. While it opens with a tale of Fleischman finding dead bees in his driveway, the discussion quickly broadens to consider the application of critical thinking skills to environmental issues. Rather than advising readers to take specific actions, Fleischman tells them how to evaluate information on topics such as climate change and encourages them to take action by charting a course that seems reasonable. He also discusses techniques to sway public opinion, such as sowing doubt, discrediting scientific studies, and hiding corporate funding of organizations promoting, for example, fossil fuels. The cascade of facts, observations, informed commentary, and sage advice may occasionally overwhelm. On the whole, though, thoughtful readers will appreciate this insightful, refreshing title's broad scope, use of specific examples, and the many references to related books, documentaries, and online articles, lectures, and interviews. The appended How to Weigh Information section is particularly excellent. A Newbery Medal-winning writer, Fleischman notes that he is no trained scientist, but his exceptional ability to organize the information here and present it articulately makes him a notable citizen scientist.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

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2014
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Melissa Stewart ; illustrated by Sarah S Brannen

School Library Journal Gr 1-4-Depicting birds from around the United States as well as South America, India, Africa, and Antarctica, Stewart illuminates the various functions of feathers. Presented in a scrapbook format with images and text that appear to be taped, stapled, or pinned to the pages, the book explains that feathers can provide sun protection, assist in carrying nest materials, or attract a mate with sound or color. All of these functions are subtly compared to everyday objects with which young readers will be familiar, such as backhoes and forklifts or umbrellas and sleds. Brannen's captivating, lifelike illustrations bring each bird's feathers to life. An author's note explains Stewart's main sources. With its simple text and captivating art, this title could be featured in a group storytime or in a unit on birds.-Meaghan Darling, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Feathers are deceptively simple marvels of adaptation, providing not just locomotion for birds, but also protection, warmth, decoration, and comfort. This book celebrates the amazing versatility of these easily recognizable objects, which young readers might find right in their own backyards. Vividly rendered watercolor illustrations of feathers in life-sized scale complement the straightforward text that describes 16 species of birds and the unexpected functions of their feathers. Common birds, such as jays, cardinals, penguins, and swans, share pages with more exotic species, like the rosy-faced lovebird of Namibia and a type of sandgrouse found in the Gobi Desert. Stewart describes how chicks suck on the wet feathers of their parents to quench their thirst and how males of some species can play a type of high-pitched, squeaky love song by shaking their wings to attract female mates. Part science journal, part read-along nonfiction, Feathers succeeds in what such science books for young readers should strive to do: help young minds spot the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2014 Booklist

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2014
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by Cruschiform

Publishers Weekly French design firm Cruschiform's graphics channel midcentury poster art while comparing the speeds of animals, people, and vehicles. Left-hand pages introduce the speed at which the objects on the facing pages move. Surprising juxtapositions include an alligator paired with a nuclear submarine (both move at 22 mph), and a springbok, dragonfly, sailboarder, mako shark, and fire truck, all members of the 56 mph club. Readers will be intrigued to see how the universe's slowpokes (such as the seahorse and Galapagos tortoise) measure up to its fastest-like a shooting star, which travels at a whopping 60,000 mph. A glossary provides additional details about each featured subject, along with a definition of speed itself. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal PreS-Gr 3-First published in French in 2013, this informational picture book seems more suitable as a coffee-table book, but the information will intrigue curious minds. Various items are presented, grouped from slowest to fastest. Spreads list a speed (in both kilometers and miles per hour) on all-white backgrounds, while facing pages feature drawings of animals, vehicles, or people that operate at that speed, laid out on a royal blue background. The same layout is used for each speed throughout, which feels repetitive. However, the information is unique, and there are some interesting facts on offer; for instance, a seahorse and a Galapagos tortoise travel at the same speed of .3 kilometers (kmh) per hour, or .2 miles per hour, and Earth rotates at 1,700 kmh-the same rate of movement as a traveling bullet. The glossary provides additional facts, along with a thumbnail picture of each. An additional purchase.-Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list Children are always fascinated with the fastest of anything: animals, cars, trains, and planes. But what about sea horses, spiders, and centipedes? From the slowest (.2 mph) to the fastest (more than 60,000 mph), the folks at Cruschiform, Marie Cruschi's creative studio in Paris, have compiled a work that is two parts art and one part inquiry and is appropriate for almost all ages. While children may want to hurry through just looking and comparing speeds, older readers will want to revisit the retro graphic illustrations. The large red KM/H (with small blue MPH)are slant-centered on each left-hand page, with names of each pictured item numbered and listed at the bottom of the page. On the facing page is a red, yellow, black, and white illustration, which incorporates those numbers as reference. As a comparison of animals and machines, it is no doubt interesting, though without a lot of info or resources. As art, however, this is a volume well worth having.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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2014
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by Dawn Cusick

Publishers Weekly What do hyenas, proboscis monkeys, and vampire bats have in common? Vomit. This companion to Cusick's Get the Scoop on Animal Poop! examines how and why various animals regurgitate their food. If the photographs of vomiting animals don't win over readers, the colorful subtopics should, from "Toxic Puke Defense" ("When a bird eats a milkweed-feeding monarch, the bird throws up") to "Puke Soup," about creatures that liquefy their prey using digestive enzymes. Cusick presents the material in a (very) immediate manner, providing readers with plenty of science, humor, and animal behavior facts to chew over-and even regurgitate. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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Loree Griffin Burns ; Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Book list This colorful book takes readers to a butterfly pupa farm in Costa Rica. Captured and taken to greenhouses, varieties of caterpillars eat, grow, and molt. When they grow larger, the caterpillars are transferred to screened cabinets and supplied with fresh leaves until they become pupae. Some are kept to develop into butterflies and later released into the nearby forest. Other pupae are sorted, wrapped, packed into special boxes, and sent to places such as Boston's Museum of Science. Appended pages discuss the life cycles of insects and the varied names for the stages of insect development. Using proper terminology, Burns writes clearly about the butterfly's life cycle. For libraries overstocked with books on monarch butterflies, the blue morpho butterfly is often used as an example here. Throughout the book, crisp, nicely composed photos offer excellent views of the butterflies, people, and places mentioned. This will particularly interest children who have visited exhibits of live, tropical butterflies in conservatories and museums.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 1-4-Burns focuses first on the life of the life of the blue morpho butterfly at the El Bosque Nuevo butterfly farm in Costa Rica and concludes with its a final destination, the Museum of Science in Boston. Bold statements emphasize the details of the expedition through punchy phrases. "Sturdy and tightly sealed, these ingenious packages are ready to travel." Factual back matter further supports the story. Additional information appears in the section "Insects and Their Life Cycles," which discusses the process of metamorphosis. Crisp, full-page photographs capture each impressive stage of the butterfly's journey. Vocabulary is clearly defined within the text, and the glossary explains scientific terms used within the narrative. At the end, the author notes that she and the photographer visited the Costa Rican greenhouse to capture this amazing process. This fascinating topic, rarely featured for a young audience, offers an accessible, visual delight.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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written by Katherine Applegate ; illustrated by G Brian Karas

Book list For those who loved the Newbery Award-winning The One and Only Ivan (2012), Applegate has created a picture-book adaptation of the true story. A baby gorilla from central Africa is captured and taken to Tacoma, Washington. At first he lives with a human family, and children will see themselves in the happy gorilla that sleeps in a bed, goes to baseball games, and licks ice-cream cones. But when Ivan grows too big, he is sold, and for 27 years, the adult silverback lives in a cage at a shopping mall. After protesting citizens write petitions, Ivan goes to a better environment at Zoo Atlanta. Back matter has more facts and photos of Ivan and websites for further information, as well as one of Ivan's finger paintings signed with his thumbprint. Using pencil-line drawing and washes of pastel, Karas feelingly depicts Ivan's gentle and loving personality conveying how this gentle gorilla won the hearts of thousands of people and readers.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In this poignant picture book, Applegate streamlines the story told in her Newbery-winning novel, The One and Only Ivan, about an African gorilla captured by poachers and caged in a Washington State mall for 27 years as a tourist attraction. The third-person narrative diminishes the immediacy of the story somewhat, but supports the nonfictional bent of this account. While Applegate omits some of the novel's darker bits, as when Ivan's elephant friend at the mall dies of neglect, many grim moments remain, and she is clear about the injustice of the gorillas' situation ("Poachers with loud guns and cruel hands stole the little gorilla and another baby"). Karas's (Tap Tap Boom Boom) muted illustrations capably reflect the contrasts between Ivan's happy early life in Africa, his gloomy years in captivity, and his eventual transfer to a new home, with grass and other gorillas, at Zoo Atlanta. A detailed afterword fills out Ivan's story and imparts the sad news of his death in 2012. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 2-Ivan was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1962. When he was about six months old, he and another baby gorilla were kidnapped by poachers. They were sold to a mall in Tacoma, WA, that also had other animals. The other baby gorilla, however, died shortly after they arrived in the United States. This is the story of how Ivan went from a lonely existence in a shopping mall to living with other gorillas once more. Narrator Xe Sands complements Applegate's masterfully crafted picture book. Although her narration is a little slow, younger readers will appreciate the extra time to fully take in the captivating, colorful illustrations. The chimes for page turning are timed correctly and do not distract listeners. VERDICT Young children who are interested in gorillas or enjoy the read-along experience will love this. ["Convey[s] the sense of loneliness and isolation that marked the gorilla's existence": SLJ 7/14 review of the Clarion book.]-Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 2-In this gorgeous picture book, Applegate details the real-life inspiration for her Newbery Award-winning novel, The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012). This title describes the harsh life of Ivan the gorilla, who was captured as a baby by poachers and brought to the B&I Circus Store in Tacoma, a mall that featured other wild animals. Though he initially lived in a house with the store's owner, when he got too big and unwieldy to handle, he was caged and put on display, staying there for more than 27 years. When the public became aware of his plight, Ivan attracted media attention and eventually was brought to a more humane environment at Zoo Atlanta. Though Applegate touches on some dark times in the life of this gorilla-he was captured with a young female gorilla who died shortly after-she does so with sensitivity. "Without her, Ivan was all alone, with too much left to learn." While her more detailed note on Ivan states that he died in 2012, the book ends on a positive moment, with Ivan finding peace in his new home. Karas's darkly hued, smudgy illustrations complement the tone of the narrative and convey the sense of loneliness and isolation that marked the gorilla's existence. A remembrance from Ivan's main zookeeper rounds out this moving work.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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Katherine Roy

Book list This engaging narrative describes the annual white shark migration to San Francisco's Farallon Islands, where these skilled predators come to gorge on the abundant seal and sea lion population. Detailed descriptions and watercolor illustrations graphically portray the physical and geographic elements that come into alignment to support this top-down food-chain cycle. The author effectively mixes extensive research and field experience to explain how sharks hunt their prey, while scientists follow the sharks, seeking opportunities to take blood and tissue samples and to implant electronic-tracking tags. Scientific facts and concepts mesh smoothly with sequential action scenes, making the content accessible and logical. It is difficult to talk about sharks and their feeding habits without a bit of gore, and the illustrations, though not overly sensational, do not disappoint. Numerous shark-themed informational books have been published in recent years, but this unique treatment deserves a spot on those crowded shelves. Researchers, browsers, and teachers will welcome this authoritative work on interdependent ecosystems, arecurring theme in national science standards.--McBroom, Kathleen Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-4-In preparation for this well-researched book on great white sharks, Roy joined scientists in the Farallon Islands to study the animals near San Francisco. Though shark lovers of all ages will enjoy poring over the intense, vivid images, there's a lot of information that older students will particularly appreciate. Readers will learn about many aspects of great whites-their anatomy, how they hunt, and their place in the ecosystem, as well as how scientists study them. The action-packed illustrations, rendered in watercolor and pencil with some digital work, are both accurate and captivating. Pair this one with Gail Gibbons's Sharks (Holiday House, 1992) or Seymour Simon's Incredible Sharks (Chronicle, 2003). Additional information in the form of films, books, and online resources are appended, including a link to a live webcam of the Farallon Islands. An excellent introduction.-Martha Rico, El Paso ISD, TX (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Drama and intrigue infuse Roy's study of migrating great white sharks. Each year, the sharks return to San Francisco: "While their 800,000 human neighbors dine on steak, salad, and sandwiches, the white sharks hunt for their favorite meal." With violence and wild beauty, one of Roy's sharks attacks a local elephant seal, sending forth a bubbling gush of blood. Elsewhere, Roy playfully compares the characteristics of a shark's body to those of a jet plane, and cutaway images display a shark's internal anatomy. Roy's reverence for her subject is evident in her majestic underwater scenes, while light humor and rich content round out a standout resource for shark enthusiasts. Ages 7-11. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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2014
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Mary Kay Carson ; with photographs by Tom Uhlman

School Library Journal Gr 4-8-This entry in this popular series focuses on the study of selected plants, animals, and geologic formations in three of our most famous national parks, which are akin to "natural laboratories and living museums." It all begins in Yellowstone National Park, where hydrothermal activity and its effects are astutely explained. Next, the history, current status, and study of the famous park grizzly bears are carefully detailed. Exploration and examination of giant saguaro cacti and the elusive Gila monster are the focus in the section on Saguaro National Park, which includes a description of "BioBlitz" through which everyday citizens and students can assist in park research programs through 2016. The Great Smoky Mountains is home to more than 30 species of salamanders, and they, plus the equally fascinating fireflies of the region, are targeted in the final chapters. Pertinent, attention-grabbing, full-color photographs and captions, maps, infrared images, and diagrams accompany the fascinating, informative text in each section. Featured experts provide primary-source information for each topic covered. The introductory map of all national parks is missing two in Colorado, but that is a quibble. Overall, this is a well-written, unique, carefully organized treat for nature lovers and investigators.-Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, CO (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list The National Park System is often known as the nation's own backyard due to the possibilities it provides for leisure, recreation, and scientific study. This entry into the long-running Scientists in the Field series celebrates this by focusing on three specific parks: Yellowstone, Saguaro, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Drawing on real-world issues such as monitoring hydrothermal systems, determining the age of giant cacti, and predicting climate change, Carson chronicles exactly how scientists work in these locations. Citizen scientist volunteers, evolutionary ecologists, park rangers, and geologists are just a few of the types of scientists detailed in the book, representing a wide range of age, experience, and expertise. Much discussion centers on the gear the scientists use and the process of their studies. Photographs of stunning landscapes, natural wonders, and people at work adorn an appealing graphic layout. With a conservationist bent, Carson describes just how accessible these real-life natural laboratories and living museums are and how each individual can act with the same spirit of inquiry as the scientist-explorers detailed here.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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by Katharine Hall

School Library Journal Gr 1-4-Time for some circumpolar knowledge! Here, Hall highlights the similarities and differences between two of the most popular ice-dwelling creatures. She starts off by tackling a common erroneous assumption, explaining that the animals live on the opposite poles of the planet. Hall also compares fur to feathers, cubs to chicks, solitary to group living, and other concepts. Children will enjoy the sharp, full-color photographs of the animals and their habitats, and many pages are full bleed, which allows readers to scan for interesting details of the ecosystem. This book would be excellent for sharing with large or small groups. However, it is marred by a few weaknesses. A discussion of how the animals live on opposite ends of the globe includes tiny, superimposed maps that are so small that readers won't be able to decipher the miniscule script, which features important words such as "Arctic" and "Antarctic." Even more egregious is the poorly photoshopped image of a polar bear sitting on an ice floe while the lights of the aurora borealis shine behind it. The photo has been clumsily composed, and the sky, stars, aurora, ice floes and water reflections look completely artificial, thus undermining this work's authoritativeness. The book ends with a mishmash of back matter that provides further material about both animals, true/false questions, and a life-cycle calendar. Though this book is serviceable, its flaws greatly reduce its usefulness.-Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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by Sue Macy

Book list Sally Ride thought that she might become a tennis professional, and while in college she was torn between English literature and science. It wasn't until she was close to finishing her PhD in physics when she saw an ad in the Stanford Daily asking for applicants to the NASA program that she really figured out what she wanted to do with her life. Up until 1977, she wouldn't have been considered, but now women were being recruited. Macy introduces the history of the space program and the first women pioneers who tried to break into it, and she offers a detailed look at Ride's long and storied career, with special emphasis on her flights and her role in discovering what caused the horrific accident that killed everyone aboard the last Challenger flight. Ride's work with children and young adults after her retirement from NASA is also highlighted. Photos, insets with further information, and extensive back matter round out the treatment. This offering will be welcomed by both students and those simply looking for a good read.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Drawing from a broad selection of books, periodicals, and interviews, Macy (Wheels of Change) fuses a biography of the first American woman in space with a chronicle of NASA's space shuttle program during Ride's career. The author provides a balanced portrait of Ride's personal and professional lives, depicting her as a reserved, private, intelligent, and competitive young woman whose diverse interests led to degrees in both physics and English at Stanford. Though various media have documented Ride's missions on Challenger, Macy also underscores her tenacity in a profession that had historically discriminated against women, as well as her passionate advocacy for educating children about space exploration and encouraging them-especially girls-to pursue careers in science. Readers whose interests lean in those directions will appreciate the thorough, at times technical, explorations of the history, operations, triumphs, and tragedies of NASA's space shuttle program. Photos of and quotations from Ride (who died of pancreatic cancer in 2012) and from those who knew her help bring her personality into sharp focus. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Macy's comprehensive, admiring biography offers detail and perspective about Ride's groundbreaking career and contributions. Her coverage of Ride's childhood and education and pioneering career at NASA is similar to that found in dated titles such as Sally Ride: A Space Biography by Barbara Kramer (Enslow, 1998). Macy relates how Ride's educational and sports accomplishments, hard work, and ambition and self-confidence allowed her to become an astronaut and a role model for countless girls. Her section about Ride's work at NASA includes many technical details and is occasionally dry. The strongest part of the book is Macy's treatment of Ride's post-astronaut career as an educator and advocate for increased education and opportunities in the sciences, especially for women. The author praises Ride's refusal to cash in on her post-NASA fame and describes her ceaseless efforts to promote educational and public service projects. She also touches on Ride's personal life, including the posthumous disclosure of a female life partner, putting into the context of Ride's lifelong desire to maintain her privacy and let her work and achievements speak for her. The text is supplemented by an eight-page photo insert, sidebars, and an extensive bibliography that includes materials written about and by Ride. This book has a higher reading level and more detail than Megan Stine's Who Was Sally Ride? (Penguin, 2013), and it will help readers put her public achievements and contributions and her quiet personal life into perspective.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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Sandra K Athans

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-For thousands of years, secret caves have been tucked away in steep cliffs in Nepal, and mountain climbers and scientists have begun to explore them. Through their discoveries, they are able to learn about this remote area, its history, and the people who once lived in these caves. The author (a sister of one of the mountaineers) takes readers on a fascinating journey, blending adventure, science, and history. Sidebars of information add a depth of information from topics as varied as what gear a Mustang rope rigger needs to an explanation of a Bon manuscript dating back to the mid-1300s. The book design is attractive and accessible and includes quality photographs and clearly labeled maps. The book will enlighten young readers to one of the most fascinating explorations and discoveries happening today. Seven pages of back matter provide a plethora of additional information. This well-executed narrative envelopes readers in a captivating tale of true mystery and adventure.-Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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Nancy F Castaldo
2014
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Stephanie Roth Sisson

Book list Carl Sagan is best known for being a renowned expert on the cosmos, but he started out as just a curious kid fascinated by the night sky, and that's where Sisson starts this picture-book biography. As a boy, Carl wonders what stars are made of, and a trip to the library leads him to read, Each star is a sun, which gets him wondering about life on other planets. His youthful daydreams and doodles about space exploration grow into serious scientific inquiry in college, and soon he's designing spacecraft and sending informative greetings to life on other planets as well as hosting a TV show to share with everyone his boundless delight about our place in the universe The Earth and every living thing are made of star stuff. Sisson's cheery, painted pages, some with added-interest vertical foldouts depict Sagan as content and curious, and every night sky is sprinkled with colorful, beautiful stars. This paean to discovery closes with a helpful author's note and further-reading suggestions for any youngsters similarly inspired by Sagan's story.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Starred Review. Gr 1-3-Told in narrative format, this beautifully designed and illustrated picture book gives readers a glimpse into the childhood wonderings Sagan experienced as he looked at the night sky and imagined the possibilities. The images are wonderfully childlike, many appearing to be chalk on a dark, night sky background. The simple but lyrical text ("Carl thought about the stars hanging down like bulbs on long black wires") conveys a dreamy, wistful quality, and the comic book-style panels and speech bubbles will keep kids intrigued as Sisson takes Sagan from an inquisitive boy to a scientist working in the field of astronomy. One particularly magnificent page should elicit gasps of awe from readers. It folds out to create a marvelous expanse that extends from a library room, where young Sagan is poring over a book about the solar system, up though the city landscape and ever upward toward the sun. Children will easily relate to and may even see themselves in Sagan's youthful exuberance. Detailed notes illustrate the solid research and facts behind the narrative. A gorgeous, informative offering for biography and science collections.- Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Sisson's loosely sketched mixed-media illustrations trace the life of Carl Sagan, beginning with his childhood spent in Brooklyn, an environment seemingly ill-suited to learning about the stars. Yet thanks to his natural curiosity, a visit to the World's Fair, and the library, Sagan's awareness of science and the universe grew. The book does, too-a spread depicting the hazy sun over Brooklyn rooftops unfolds to show it in space ("Our sun is a big ball of fiery gas held together by gravity," Sagan learns). Sisson goes on to recap Sagan's later endeavors, including becoming an astrophysicist, appearing on TV, and sending messages into via the twin Voyagers. A broader message about the role wonder plays in innovation resonates throughout this story, which concludes with extensive biographical and source notes. Ages 4-8. Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014
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by DK

Book list This oversize riff on standard body encyclopedias uses big, dramatic photos and cutaway views for visual punch, and gosh-wow facts to crank up the sprays of descriptive captions and labels. From the Total Intranet of the brain and nerves to organs that process Fuel and Waste, the body is presented as a biological machine, with systems and components capable of extreme feats as well as basic functions. Along with many smaller pictures, the illustrations range from spread-filling images of athletes or dancers to giant looks inside an eyeball and an ear; diagrammatic views of a developing embryo; and extreme close-ups of tongue, stomach-lining, and other anatomical surfaces. Though not detailed or systematic enough to serve as a replacement for the Human Body: A Visual Encyclopedia (2012) or similar books, this does give familiar information a dynamic angle and also provides plenty of need-to-know facts, such as definitions for boborygmi and peristalsis, unique features of the teen brain, and the fact that we share 50 percent of our DNA with the banana.--Peters, John Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor ; illustrated by Chris Muller

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Aronson has come together with folklorist/historian Mayor to create this intriguing account of how ancient people conceived of the griffin. How did the ancients come to dream up these amazing creatures? Were they the result of creative minds? Or was there something in the environment that led people to believe in these phenomena, such as how the mythical Cyclops and water monsters bear great resemblance to the bones of ancient dinosaurs? In this work, Aronson describes the journey that Mayor embarked upon to discover if there is a connection between the legend of the griffin and scientific fact. Over the course of eight well-written chapters, information about Mayor's life and research unfolds, letting readers travel to the many countries she visited to conduct her work. From a very young age, Mayor sought answers to the same questions that would inspire her later in life. A complementary blend of photography and ancient artwork aid the readers' perception of the myths and science that are shared in this book. A solid addition about mythology, art, and science for most collections.-Katy Charles, Virgil Elementary School, Cortland, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly What started as a hunch-that the legend of the griffin began with people who had seen fossils of extinct animals-led self-taught scientist Mayor to trace the origins of a myth to a basis in fact. With the suspense of a detective story, the narrative details Mayor's research process as she consults with experts, conducts fieldwork, and seeks out ancient documents, artifacts, and stories. Beyond the intriguing content of the book itself, Aronson and Mayor deliver an empowering message: that the world contains many yet-to-be-solved enigmas, and there's more than one way to crack a (dinosaur) egg. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list In another forcefully written tribute to the thrill of archaeological discovery, Aronson, author of If Stones Could Speak (2010), retraces coauthor Mayor's search for evidence to support the idea that griffins and other monsters in ancient Greek mythology were inspired by dinosaur fossils. That search begins in a library (what better place?) and leads through clues carefully gathered from art and folklore of the Greek islands, the remote gold fields of the ancient Scythians, and all the way to the justly renowned fossil beds of Mongolia's Flaming Cliffs. Plenty of on-site sketches, photos of artifacts, and artist's conceptions from Muller add dramatic visual elements to the tale, and the maps and resource lists at the end (not seen) will provide intrigued readers with avenues for further study of the tantalizing links between, as the subtitle puts it, myth and science. As a largely self-taught researcher, rather than a pure product of academe, Mayor also provides a model for Aronson's liberating, if arguable, contention that anyone can become an expert, it just takes being patient, observant, and curious. --Peters, John Copyright 2014 Booklist

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2014
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by Elizabeth Rusch

School Library Journal Starred Review. Gr 5-8-Rainforests and savannahs, coral reefs and tundra-readers are most likely familiar with these fields in which scientists work. But this time, it is the energy of the physical movement of the global ocean that is the field, and here in this world of watery physics, a series of imaginative, innovative engineers have been designing, building, and experimenting to successfully harness this inexorable surge of energy. Rusch's readable text follows three very varied groups of visionary engineers on this quest: Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes (who are working on a device that will allow people to sit upon the ocean floor), Annette von Jouanne and her team (working on a floating design), and the cofounders of Ocean Power Technologies, the first to win a permit to generate "ocean electricity" to be marketed to homes and businesses on the Oregon coast. Included are sidebars on a rich variety of topics such as "Working with Watts" and a global inventory of "Wild Wave Inventions of the World." Colorful diagrams and a plethora of photos provide visual stimulation as well. This pellucid look into a promising field of alternative energy (so needed in a warming world) and into the scientists devoting their lives to bring concept into reality is informative, intriguing, and inspiring.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book list From the Scientists in the Field series, this informative book introduces several engineers who are working to turn the force of ocean waves into electric power. The most engaging sections follow the Mikes, two childhood friends who rode bikes and built forts together. In high school, they helped start a science club, and, as seniors at Oregon State, they teamed up to invent a wave device. More than a decade later, they returned to that idea, won grants, and built an energy apparatus that sits on the ocean floor. In another long-term project begun at the university, an engineering professor and her students invented a floating wave-energy device. Both projects and others profiled are ongoing. Throughout the book, color photos show the teams' work in various stages. Sidebars introduce topics such as the practical applications of wave-energy production and the possible effects of wave-energy devices on marine animals. The author of The Mighty Mars Rovers (2012) and Eruption! (2013), Rusch once again looks at the convergence of science and technology. Writing clearly about the engineers' trial-and-error methods, she conveys the importance of testing, the necessity of funding, and the satisfaction of working toward a worthwhile goal. A fine choice for young people intrigued by engineering and oceanography.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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by Robert Dinwiddie
2014
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by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton

Publishers Weekly Zoologist and children's author Davies (Outside Your Window) adds another book about the natural world to her extensive repertoire as she introduces microbes to readers. A straightforward narrative packed with comparisons sheds light on "the invisible transformers of our world," while clever, inviting watercolors help put those comparisons into context. Sutton's paintings, reminiscent of mid 20th-century children's book art with their subtle hues and naive styling, lend a nostalgic, almost cozy feel to the pages. In one spread, smiling, waving people in a skyline full of towering buildings illustrate the idea that "A single drop of seawater can hold twenty million microbes. That's about the same as the number of people in New York State." Another spread contains circular vignettes like petri dishes under a microscope, each with a different microbe: "Some are skinny. Some have wiggling tails. Some look like daisies." An apparent brother-sister duo appear throughout-getting stomachaches, gardening-to demonstrate the connection between these ubiquitous microbes and human life. Davies and Sutton illuminate the world of germs, fermenters, and composters in a charming, succinct package. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book list *Starred Review* Who wouldn't be fascinated by organisms that can eat anything: plants, animals (alive or dead), even oil and rocks? English biologist Davies introduces the strange realm of microbes: their minute sizes, their vast numbers, their diverse forms, and their varied roles in shaping our world. Simply written and concise, the text opens with comparisons that describe just how small these microorganisms are, noting that the picture of an ant would need to be as big as a whale in order for the millions of microbes on its antenna to be visible. While the analogy comparing the number of microbes in a teaspoon of soil to the population of India may be challenging for some young children to grasp, the colorful painting illustrating the idea could serve as a jumping-off point for further discussion. The information that some microbes cause illness is placed within the context of the many amazing things they accomplish. Reminiscent of Alice and Martin Provensen's artwork in its combination of formal structure and amiable tone, Sutton's large-scale illustrations help children to visualize microorganisms and processes that are too small to see. The sequence of simple images illustrating multiplying microbes is quite effective. A handsome and rewarding picture book about the power of tiny creatures.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-4-A pleasant, picture book-style look at a rather icky topic: microbes, the teeny tiny critters that live on us and in us and everywhere around us, with an impact that belies their minute size. Davies's writing is straightforward but not dry; in fact, she puts the scale and numbers of microbes into fascinating contexts. For instance, to make the millions of microbes on an ant's antenna visible, the antenna would have to be enlarged to the size of a whale. Sutton's folk-art illustrations are rendered in earthy tones on creamy paper and feature two smiling kiddos and a winsome cat, making for a warm visual presentation (who'd have thought a paramecium could be pretty?). This really is an enjoyable beginner's look at these miniscule organisms and the effect they can have on everything from our bodies to the soil to the clouds in the sky.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014
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Ellen Jackson ; illustrated by Renne Benoit

Publishers Weekly Upbeat, if somewhat corny rhymes help introduce ways in which 11 wild animals utilize tools. Subjects include a crow that bends a piece of wire to reach an object, otters that use rocks to smash open shellfish, and dolphins that use sea sponges to catch fish: Dolphins choose a cone-shaped sponge,/ wrap their beaks, then fish and lunge. Longer prose passages elaborate on each animal's activity: Elephants strip leaves from branches, writes Jackson. They use the stripped branches to swat flies or other insects that bite them. Benoit's mixed-media illustrations fall between naturalistic and cozy, creating an accessible entry point to learning about animal behavior. An author's note provides additional background on animals' tool use and the habitats of the featured animals. Ages 4–8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 3-Woodpecker finches, chimpanzees, otters, deer, and octopuses are just some of the animals whose use of tools is explored in this attractive, informational picture book. Rhyming couplets paired with explanatory paragraphs in succinct, descriptive prose explain how various species use objects to accomplish specific goals. A helpful introduction explains what a tool is, defining it fairly broadly ("Many scientists who study animal tool use define a tool as an object that an animal uses to accomplish a goal"): the book uses some clear examples (a chimp using sticks and straws to obtain termites, otters using rocks to crack shells) as well as less obvious ones (squirrels kicking rocks and sand at a snake, male red deer covering their antlers with mud or grass to attract mates). Soft watercolor, pencil, and gouache illustrations depict the animals realistically. This book allows for a rich, up-close look at a fascinating aspect of animal behavior, and while the use of tools is the primary focus, the pictures will also enhance discussions around animal habitats as well. The rhyming portions make this title ideal for reading aloud with younger children, while the more in-depth explanations allow for engaging independent reading by older kids. An author's note goes into further detail about tools, and the bibliography and additional resources showcase some solid books and websites for kids. Useful for instructional purposes and accessible enough for students to read on their own.-Whitney LeBlanc, Staten Island Academy, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Sure, people use tools, but animals? On each double-page spread of this attractive picture book, Jackson introduces a species that will surprise readers with its inventiveness and adaptability. Short, rhyming verse introduces the ideas, while a large-scale picture illustrates them, and a few sentences explain what the animal is doing and why. For example, the rhyme Otters on an ocean swell / use a rock to crack a shell accompanies images of otters swimming, picking up a rock, and dining on the mollusk inside, while the short prose text comments on what's happening. Also featured are a woodpecker finch, chimpanzee, crow, deer, bowerbird, empid fly, dolphin, octopus, elephant, and squirrel. An author's note discusses scientists' ongoing discussion of animal tool use. Benoit's appealing artwork, created with watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache, illustrates the animals' unusual behaviors with warmth, color, and attention to detail. An intriguing idea presented in an accessible way.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2014
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by Patricia Daniels and Christina Wilsdon
2014
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Jeannie Brett

Book list In her latest informative picture book, Brett shows not only how varied the world's eight species of bears are but also how much they have in common. In a series of engaging double-page watercolors, Brett depicts bears in various habitats doing their typical activities hunting, exploring, eating, and sleeping. Fun facts for example, The sucking noise of the sloth bear's snout can be heard from 300 feet away are liberally scattered throughout the spreads in a smaller font size. Fully aware of the cuteness factor of cubs, Brett features a mother bear and at least one cub in almost all of her paintings. (And as the section on North American black bears reveals, one mother may give birth to different colored cubs, including some that look like polar bears.) Brett ends her text with the reminder that humans should think about protecting bears and the ecosystems in which they live. Also included in the back matter are a habitat glossary and a map, which shows where in the world the eight species live.--Nolan, Abby Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-There are only eight species of bears on Earth, and Brett examines each of them. Opening spreads discuss general physical traits and behavior; a double-page chapter is then devoted to each species. Many facts are scattered throughout the captions for the art as well as in the main text, but font sizes help guide readers' eyes to keep the text from becoming overwhelming. The watercolor illustrations depict the bears' habitats as well as behaviors, and a world map indicates their range. A useful addition.-Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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