APEX PREDATORS OF THE AMAZON RAIN FOREST
SERIES. BEARPORT. K–GR. 3. ( 8 NEW TITLES).
Bull Shark. By Ellen Lawrence. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $23.93
(9781684020355); e-book, $23.93 (9781684020874). 597.3.
Green Anaconda. By Ellen Lawrence. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed.,
$23.93 (9781684020317); e-book, $23.93 (9781684020836).
Harpy Eagle. By Ellen Lawrence. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $23.93
(9781684020294); e-book, $23.93 (9781684020812). 598.9.
Jaguar. By Ellen Lawrence. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $23.93
(9781684020300); e-book, $23.93 (9781684020829). 599.75.
Glossy, close-up action shots steal the show in this photo-rich exploration of the Amazon’s top predators. As defined in the text, an apex
predator is at the top of the food chain in its habitat, and each volume utilizes short, clear sentences to examine the qualities that make
each animal showcased a prime hunter. Though not necessarily an apex
predator in the open ocean, the bulky bull shark thrives in shallow
water, and Bull Shark investigates the senses and techniques that allow
it to dominate the murky Amazon River. Another river predator is introduced in Green Anaconda, which emphasizes the size and strength of
this amphibious snake. Harpy Eagle takes to the skies as it illuminates
how this giant raptor searches for prey from above and focuses especially on how it raises its young. The third-largest animal in the cat family
is on display in Jaguar, which zeroes in on the camouflaging effects of
this feline’s distinctive coat. Each volume opens with a brief, action-packed paragraph that showcases the animals’ hunting skills, and life
cycles, territory range, and preferred prey are given for each. The text
directs several trivia and critical-thinking questions to the reader, and
an ending activity offers students a useful interactive element. Part of
Bearport’s Science Slam! program, this series offers a solid introduction
to life sciences. —Maggie Reagan
BRANDS WE KNOW SERIES. BELLWETHER/PILOT.
GR. 3–6. ( 10 NEW TITLES).
American Girl. By Sara Green. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $25.95
Barbie. By Sara Green. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $25.95
Hot Wheels. By Sara Green. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $25.95
Transformers. By Sara Green. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $25.95
The Brands We Know is a rather unassuming series title for books
CAPTURED HISTORY SPORTS SERIES. CAPSTONE/
that will likely jump into readers’ hands. That’s because these books
look at several manufacturers of products beloved by children. Ameri-
can Girl charts the remarkable climb of one woman’s idea to create
dolls for her nieces to its position at the top of its field, a feat made
possible by the company’s continually expanding selection of dolls,
accoutrements, and books. Children who own American Girl dolls—
and they are legion—will be fascinated by the way the company has
evolved and how it gives back to the community. Barbie offers a crisp
intro that details the doll’s long and storied history. Car lovers will
appreciate Hot Wheels for affording them the chance to pore over car
collections (including the 1968 original) while learning about both the
history of these matchbox cars as well as the ways they are used today
to teach math and science. Transformers chronicles the metamorphic
figures’ success as they moved from the toy world to the screen. Visual
learners will be drawn to the many color photos in the books, but there
is plenty of good information as well. Time lines are a helpful aid to
put these popular toys in context. Plenty to like here for a wide variety
of children. —Ilene Cooper
COMPASS POINT. GR. 5–8. ( 4 NEW TITLES).
Ali’s Knockout Punch: How a Photograph Stunned the Boxing
World. By Michael Burgan. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $8.95
(9780756555313); lib. ed., $34.65 (9780756555276). 796.83092.
Black Power Salute: How a Photograph Captured a Political
Protest. By Danielle Smith-Llera. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $8.95
(9780756555306); lib. ed., $34.65 (9780756555269). 796.48.
Olympic Gold 1936: How the Image of Jesse Owens Crushed
Hitler’s Evil Myth. By Michael Burgan. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $8.95
(9780756555320); lib. ed., $34.65 (9780756555283). 796.42092.
Serena vs. Venus: How a Photograph Spotlighted the Fight for
Equality. By Danielle Smith-Llera. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $8.95
(9780756555337); lib. ed., $34.65 (9780756555290). 796.342092.
The latest set in the Captured History Sports series features photos of
African American athletes. Each book tells the story behind the picture
on its cover, including relevant biographical information and historical
perspective as well as commentary on the featured photo and photographer. Well placed to support the text, the many illustrations include
action shots and scenes related to the political and social conditions
discussed in many of these volumes. Color photos are used sparingly
except in Serena vs. Venus, which covers more recent events. Ali’s Knockout Punch traces the life of Muhammad Ali from brash young boxer
to internationally beloved man and discusses the iconic 1965 photo
in which he stands over Sonny Liston in the ring. Black Power Salute
draws attention to the turbulent climate in the U.S. in 1968, leading up to the Mexico City Olympics, where medal-winning sprinters
Tommie Smith and John Carlos mounted the podium and raised their
black-gloved fists. Olympic Gold 1936 describes the politically contentious Berlin Olympics, where Jesse Owens’ athletic triumphs flew in
the face of Hitler’s propaganda. Serena vs. Venus looks at the history
of women, particularly black women, in professional tennis and spotlights the careers of these two remarkable athletes. These books will
certainly capture the attention of kids interested in sports, civil rights
history, or photography. —Carolyn Phelan
DK FINDOUT! SERIES. DK. GR. 3–6. ( 4 NEW TITLES).
DK findout! Ancient Egypt. By Angela McDonald. 2017. 64p. illus.
paper, $10.99 (9781465457530). 932.
DK findout! Pirates. By E. T. Fox. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $10.99
DK findout! Sharks. By Sarah Fowler. 2017. 64p. illus. paper, $10.99
DK findout! Stone Age. By Klint Janulis. 2017. 64p. illus. paper,
$10.99 (9781465457509). 930.
The highly visual books in the DK findout! series are eye-catching
and fact rich. The illustrations are the focal point of every page and
include an array of artifacts, period artwork, photos, digital artwork
and infographics, and reenactment-like pictures of historical scenes.
Each comprehensive volume conveys information through short
paragraphs, captions, fast facts, and brief interviews—both real (with
subject experts) and imagined (with a historic figure). A time line runs