Light on informational payload but a blast for display or demonstration.

POP-UP MOON

A lunar flyby, with notes on our largest satellite’s origins, phases, and tidal effects enhanced by pop-ups.

As in its predecessor, Pop-Up Earth (2021), paper engineer Charbonnel’s 3-D constructs are showstoppers that make the narrative text and the flat illustrations come off as afterthoughts. Still, though author Jankéliowitch leaves special terms like umbra and penumbra undefined, she does cover lunar basics (including comparisons with select moons orbiting other planets) in simple language. Similarly, if the human faces are White in all but one of illustrator Buxton’s scenes, her maps and diagrammatic views of the moon as it orbits between the sun and Earth are clean and easy to understand. As the final spread on the Apollo missions includes no mention of later developments, readers will come away uninformed of current plans for return visits, which is a shame. Still, after taking ganders at the huge planetary collision at the opening, the astronaut waving through the large clear plastic screen of an antique TV from the moon’s surface at the close, and the spectacular constructs in between, they may well be tempted into the orbit of Elaine Scott’s Our Moon (2016) to find out the full story.

Light on informational payload but a blast for display or demonstration. (Informational pop-up picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65186-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A sketchy teaser in search of an audience.

EDDIE THE ELECTRON MOVES OUT

From the Eddie the Electron series , Vol. 2

A subatomic narrator describes how helium, a nonrenewable resource, is formed deep underground.

The very simple cartoon style of the illustrations suggests a breezier ride than the scientifically challenging content delivers. With much reliance on explanatory endnotes, Rooney sends her zippy narrator—newly freed from a popped balloon (see Eddie the Electron, 2015)—barreling its way past billions of nitrogen and oxygen atoms to the top of the atmosphere. Eddie describes how uranium and thorium trapped in the newly formed planet’s crust self-destructed to leave helium as a stable byproduct. Billions of tedious years later (“I thought I would die of pair annihilation!”) that helium was extracted for a wide variety of industrial uses. Following mentions of Einstein and how Eddie is mysteriously connected to other atoms “in a way that surpasses space and time,” the popeyed purple particle floats off with a plea to cut down on the party balloons to conserve a rare element. Younger readers may find this last notion easier to latch onto than the previous dose of physics, which is seriously marred both by the vague allusions and by Eddie’s identification as a helium atom rather than the free electron that his portrayals in the art, not to mention his moniker, indicate.

A sketchy teaser in search of an audience. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944995-14-0

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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A blast from the past, sure to transport fans of all things big and loud.

JUMBO

In a properly lap- and eye-filling format (it has a 2-foot wingspan), a soaring tribute to the “Queen of the Skies.”

Following Go for the Moon (2019), Gall pays homage to another outsize triumph of engineering wizardry and industrial might. A mammoth machine two and a half times larger than any other jet liner of its time, Boeing’s 747 is so big, he claims, that the Wright brothers could have made their entire first flight in its fuselage without leaving the coach section. It debuted in 1968 and, though now retired from domestic use, is still the fastest commercial passenger plane in the world. Drawn with Gall’s customary clean precision, a mix of dramatically angled full-body portraits, glimpses of workers in a gigantic assembly plant, cutaway views of cockpit and spacious seating areas, detailed sectional diagrams of wings and engines, and flocks of smaller aircraft from a paper plane to a suddenly dinky-seeming 737 combine to underscore the scope of the technological achievement as well as both the sheer scale of the jet and of the effort that went into building it. There is also a dream-come-true element, as a red-haired, pale-skinned child frequenting the pictures through each stage of the leviathan’s design and assembly makes a final appearance in the pilot’s seat and turns out to be Lynn Rippelmeyer, the first woman to captain a 747. Clad in late-20th-century attire, the small human figures clustering throughout add a sense of period but are nearly all White.

A blast from the past, sure to transport fans of all things big and loud. (glossary, source list, “fun facts,” afterword) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-15580-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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