START TO FINISH, SECOND SERIES. LERNER. K–GR. 3.
( 5 NE W TI TLES)
From Acorn to Oak Tree. By Emma Carlson Berne. 2017. 24p. illus.
lib. ed., $23.99 (9781512434408). 583.
From River to Raindrop: The Water Cycle. By Emma Carlson
Berne. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed., $23.99 (9781512434422). 551.48.
From Seed to Cactus. By Lisa Owings. 2017. 24p. illus. lib. ed.,
$23.99 (9781512434453). 583.
From Spore to Mushroom. By Lisa Owings. 2017. 24p. illus. lib.
ed., $23.99 (9781512434415). 579.6.
These new books in the Start to Finish, Second Series follow simple
cycles and processes in nature. The text on the left side of each spread
details one basic step in the process or cycle. (Somewhat unnecessarily, the first sentence is treated as a chapter title.) A bright, bold photo
on the right side perfectly illustrates the text. For example, one photo
in From Acorn to Oak Tree shows a tiny green shoot peeking out of a
hugely magnified acorn on a page that describes the development of
the acorn’s roots and shoots. The photos in From River to Raindrop
follow the water cycle through vivid cloud formations, drops of rain,
puddles, and bodies of water. From Seed to Cactus tracks the cactus’
growth and development, with many pictures of prickly spines on
variously sized cacti. The fascinating information and visuals about
fungus roots, mushroom buds, and baby mushroom shells in From
Spore to Mushroom may be surprising and new, even to some adults.
Overall, the books are well suited for young readers. The simple, narrative text, told in the present tense and occasionally addressing the
reader directly, brings basic science topics to life. In addition, the
books’ refreshingly clean, simple design will help younger children
stay focused. —Miriam Aronin
THINKING CRITICALLY SERIES. REFERENCEPOINT.
GR. 7–12. ( 5 NEW TITLES)
Thinking Critically: Abortion. By Christine Wilcox. Oct. 2017.
80p. illus. lib. ed., $29.95 (9781682822616); e-book, $39.95
Thinking Critically: Animal Rights. By Melissa Abramovitz. Oct.
2017. 80p. illus. lib. ed., $29.95 (9781682822630); e-book, $39.95
Thinking Critically: The Death Penalty. By Stephanie Watson. Oct.
2017. 80p. illus. lib. ed., $29.95 (9781682822654); e-book, $39.95
Thinking Critically: Obesity. By Andrea C. Nalaya. Oct. 2017.
80p. illus. lib. ed., $29.95 (9781682822678); e-book, $39.95
Even a pancake has two sides, as the old saying goes, and these
volumes in the dependable Thinking Critically series espouse this
philosophy by offering a pro-con study of complex issues that shape
public discourse. Each title begins with an overview of the issue
and how it has raised debate in recent news. Four chapters follow,
each asking a related question and providing key points, including
research and philosophy from experts in the fields. Abortion delves
into whether a fetus is a person with a right to life, whether abortion
causes potential harm, and the laws governing the procedure.
Animal Rights considers the morality of eating animals, using them for
entertainment, and experimenting on them, as well as if they should
have rights similar to humans. Considerable attention is given to
race and socioeconomics in The Death Penalty, which reflects upon
whether capital punishment is ethical, is fairly imposed, deters crime,
and serves justice. Obesity examines whether being significantly overweight is a serious health threat, a matter of personal responsibility,
and if the food industry is to blame. Guided questions, charts, and
quotes provide additional resources, as do appended lists of facts,
organizations, and websites. Rather than face unwieldy results from
an Internet search, students can use this series to frame their research
coherently. —Angela Leeper
TOY TRAILBLAZERS SERIES. ABDO/CHECKERBOARD.
GR. 2–4. ( 6 NEW TITLES)
American Girl Entrepreneur: Pleasant Rowland. By Paige V.
Polinsky. Sept. 2017. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $27.07 (9781532110948);
e-book, $34.95 (9781680788792). 745.592.
Monopoly Mastermind: Charles B. Darrow. By Paige V. Polinsky.
Sept. 2017. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $27.07 (9781532110955); e-book,
$34.95 (9781680788808). 794.
Mr. Potato Head Inventor: George Lerner. By Paige V. Polinsky.
Sept. 2017. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $27.07 (9781532110962); e-book,
$34.95 (9781680788815). 688.7.
Pokémon Designer: Satoshi Tajiri. By Paige V. Polinsky. Sept.
2017. 32p. illus. lib. ed., $27.07 (9781532110979); e-book, $34.95
Youngsters far and wide can readily identify the pudgy Pikachu,
zany Mr. Potato Head, enterprising Mr. Monopoly, or bespectacled
Molly McIntyre—but what about the masterminds behind them? The
Toy Trailblazers series presents the lives and crowning achievements
of twentieth-century inventors in slim, 12-chapter volumes. Arranged
chronologically, entries kick off with biographical information before
homing in on the inception, formation, and ultimate success of each invention. American Girl Entrepreneur introduces teacher-philanthropist
Pleasant Rowland, whose innovative franchise, founded in 1986,
produces educational dolls, magazines, books, and films for preteens.
Although Monopoly Mastermind focuses on the beloved board game
and the man who developed it, the book also covers its pivotal precursor, the Landlord’s Game, and Monopoly’s intriguing role in WWII. In
Mr. Potato Head Inventor, readers meet George Lerner, a man on a mission to prevent his children from playing with their food. The resulting
“Funny Faces kit” for dressing up real fruits or vegetables snagged the
attention of Hasbro—and the country. Pokémon Designer follows Satoshi Tajiri from his insect-collecting childhood to his feats as founder
of Game Freak magazine; a game programmer; and, naturally, creator
of global sensation Pokémon. With captioned full-color photographs,
inset “fun fact” sidebars, ample historical context, and appended time
lines, this is a bright, engaging resource sure to spark curiosity and
creativity in primary-grade readers. —Briana Shemroske