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Review of A Ray of Light: A Book of Science and Wonder

A Ray of Light: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick; photos by the author Intermediate    Scholastic    40 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-439-16587-7    $17.99 Wick explores the concepts of light and color in a sophisticated yet comprehensible format. As in his masterful A Drop of Water (rev. 3/97; winner of the 1997 Boston Globe–Horn […]

Review of Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore; illus. by the author Primary     Greenwillow     48 pp.     g 1/19     978-0-06-279128-3     $17.99 A polar bear wanders alone through icy northern landscapes and across the seasons in search of food, her survival practices described as she hunts seals and paddles past sharks, narwhals, and whales. […]

Planetary science

Fishman, Seth  A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Greenwillow 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book. Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg. Fishman and Greenberg engagingly highlight the wondrousness of numbers, stars, and just about everything about our home planet. Fishman exchanges science writing’s traditional stiffness for a confiding tone. Greenberg, too, eschews physical […]

Review of The Squirrels’ Busy Year

The Squirrels’ Busy Year [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 7/18    978-0-7636-9600-9    $16.99 A pair of squirrels and other residents of their pond-side community interact through four distinct seasons. In winter, the sleeping squirrels pop out quickly for acorns under the watchful eye of […]

Groundbreaking women in STEM

Four new picture-book biographies introduce primary readers to female scientists and mathematicians who wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of their pursuit of knowledge. Also look for a review of Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson in the upcoming September/October Horn Book Magazine. An early, vivid […]

Review of Look at the Weather

Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup; illus. by the author; trans. from the German and adapted by Shelley Tanaka Intermediate    Owlkids    152 pp.    g 4/18    978-1-77147-286-9    $19.95 “We have such a strong connection to weather, we can’t help but wonder about it.” Across the next 150-plus pages, Teckentrup’s words and illustrations embody this connection, […]

Deep blue sea

With activities such as beach trips, aquarium visits, and whale-watching on the agenda, summer is a great time for kids to learn more about our oceans, marine flora and fauna, and deep-water exploration. Here’s a handful of new nonfiction picture-book titles to get primary and early-intermediate readers’ feet wet. Die-cuts serve both useful and playful […]

BEE excited for summer!

Our focus at this time of year tends to be on the flowers blooming all around us, bringing divine scents and bright colors to a formerly gray landscape. This year, however, it’s the bees that are captivating me. On a quiet day, I can hear their buzzing around our flowering crabapple tree from inside our […]

Summer science

These new books for primary readers present scientifically accurate information about the birds and the bees (and the snails, and the…hippos?) with engaging formats and plenty of humor. In the factual and funny A Round of Robins, sixteen brief, easy-to-read poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise their chicks. Author Katie Hesterman […]

Review of Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez; illus. by Felicita Sala Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/18    978-0-399-55725-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55726-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55727-9    $10.99 Joan Procter (1897–1931) was fascinated by reptiles and engaged with them as a herpetologist, researcher, and zoo-exhibit designer — but also on a personal […]