A big, breezy banquet of dino facts—and factoids.

ATLAS OF DINOSAUR ADVENTURES

STEP INTO A PREHISTORIC WORLD

A world tour of reconstructed prehistoric landscapes based on modern fossil discoveries.

Going continent by (modern) continent in a series of big, populous maps and full-spread scenes, Hawkins and Letherland feature 31 dinosaurs or prehistoric reptiles but add dozens of others—all identified, supplied with quick descriptive notes, and depicted in a simplified but reasonably realistic style. This adds up to a weighty bundle of names and facts, but the authors compensate by not taking their enterprise too seriously. Readers won’t soon forget, for instance, that the “massive droppings” of T. Rex “were as long as a human arm,” and sharp-eyed viewers will notice a Ceratosaurus carrying a butterfly net to bag prey, both a toothy T. Rex and a Giganotosaurus with napkins tied around their necks, and smaller hunters sporting the odd pith helmet or kerchief. Also, there is a certain cognitive dissonance between the writer’s grisly references to predators attacking a corpse in a “group rip with steak-knife teeth” or exclamations of “Crunch, crunch, shark for lunch!” and visuals in which predators and prey pose without making actual contact and there is no visible blood or gore. A catastrophic meteorite (with proper references to the contemporaneous volcanism) brings both the era and the tour to a close.

A big, breezy banquet of dino facts—and factoids. (index) (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-035-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library.

FOLLOW THOSE ZEBRAS

SOLVING A MIGRATION MYSTERY

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

Scientists solve the mystery of a disappearing zebra herd.

A herd of plains zebra regularly vanishes from the Chobe River flood plains in Namibia and Botswana during the dry season, but until Robin Naidoo and other scientists fitted some of these animals with GPS trackers, no one knew where they went or why. Markle (The Great Shark Rescue, 2019, etc.) ably describes the species, its habitat in the Serengeti Plain, the phenomenon of migration, the science research, and its surprising results: a “record-holding zebra migration” to the grasses in Botswana’s Nxai Pan National Park, which have extra nutrients for the mares and the foals they bear there. Her clear explanations are accompanied by well-chosen and informatively captioned photographs from a variety of sources. The lively design includes a striking zebra-coat background surrounding boxes with additional information and images. Maps help American readers locate this migration in southern Africa. One that includes the tracked migration routes of eight females demonstrates the astonishing directness of the 155-mile journey undertaken by seven (the meandering route taken by the eighth is unexplained). The author concludes with concerns about the possible effects of the changing climate and how conservation groups are planning to help the zebras so that they can continue to travel unimpeded and find water on their way.

A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library. (author’s note, fast facts, glossary, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-3837-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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