All About Fossils (A True Book)
Fossils and prehistoric creatures are a children’s nonfiction mainstay, but this engaging volume with crystal clear writing and thoughtful visual components stands out from the crowd. There’s a lot here—types of fossils, how they’re formed, prehistoric time, the work of paleontology, major fossil discoveries—and it’s exceptionally well organized and complemented by eye-catching illustrations, photos, graphs, and charts. Beyond the usual bones, shells, and traces petrified in sedimentary rock, Crane also discusses organisms preserved in amber, tar, and ice. From there, she explains geologic time and extinction events, the evolution of prehistoric creatures, and paleontologists’ methods for hunting and collecting fossils. A closing spread of a few well-chosen paleontologists (including a woman currently working in the field) is an empowering note to end on. Though the text never goes very deep, Crane offers many juicy tidbits of information sure to pique readers’ interest and inspire further research. Activities, quizzes, and a general breezy and enthusiastic atmosphere make this installment in the A True Book: Digging in Geology series (4 titles) an excellent choice for nonfiction collections. — Sarah Hunter

Booklist Starred Review, April 2021

Other titles in this series include All About Crystals and Gems, All About Minerals, and All About Rocks (A True Book: Digging in Geology)

How Would You Survive as a Killer Whale (How Would You Survive)
This entry in the How Would You Survive series (4 titles) gives a thorough introduction to “the largest species of dolphin,” the killer whale. Stewart writes in the second person, putting readers in the position of the orca as he diagrams the important body parts, giving clear and specific ideas of the creature's physical capabilities. Double-page spreads each tackle a certain topic, with short but dense info-bites set among dynamic watercolor illustrations. Readers will learn how these apex predators swim, eat, hunt, socialize, rear their young, and survive the dangers posed by humans. A final example of Tilikum the killer whale addresses the suffering these creatures face in captivity. Back matter includes a quiz, more fun facts, and an index. A visually appealing and detailed look at a wondrous sea creature. — Ronny Khuri

Booklist, April 2021

Other titles in this series include How Would You Survive as a Bee?, How Would You Survive as a Polar Bear?, and How Would You Survive as a Lion? (How Would You Survive?)

Mummies and Murder (XBooks: Strange)
The attention-grabbing title and small trim size of this book—not to mention the serene bogmummy cover image—guarantee that it will circulate under its own steam. Part of the high interest XBooks: Strange series (4 titles), it opens with the sensational 1950 discovery of Tollund Man in a bog in Denmark and poses the primary questions that the book will tackle, effectively hooking readers before they even get to the table of contents. The main text is divided into four short chapters that describe the scientists’ investigation into whether Tollund Man was murdered (he was found with a rope around his neck) and the basic information they learned about him upon close study, illustrated with gruesomely enticing mummy photos and painted scenes imagining Tollund Man's fate. The book offers frequent asides about how bogs preserve bodies, plus additional mummy examples. The text is always engaging and balanced, and a concluding XFiles section offers rich back matter, most excitingly, a chart of mummies discovered across cultures. An excellent and informative choice that kids will love. — Julia Smith

Booklist Starred Review, April 2020

Other titles in this series include Lost City, Tracking Bigfoot, and UFO Landing (XBooks: Strange)

Built for Speed (Rookie Star – Extraordinary Animals)
The pithy text of this entry in the Rookie Star: Extraordinary Animals series (4 titles) flows almost as fast as the animals it describes. Herrington covers several different types of speed, including “Fastest Fliers and Swimmers,” “Fastest Runners and Jumpers,” and “Fastest Attackers.” Each spread presents a different animal, occasionally featuring a second critter that moves similarly in a sidebar. Familiar creatures, such as cheetahs and chameleons, zip through the pages, but some unexpected animals (sailfish, Brazilian free tailed bats) make appearances as well. Thanks to a well-edited mix of introductory, general, and specific information, the text never becomes choppy. The excellent nature photos, like the text, are focused and dramatic, and captions often add interesting information. This book provides readers with the excitement of both speed and learning.

- Booklist, October 2018

Other titles in this series includeAmazing Migrations, Cool Camouflage, and Powerful Predators

A True Book - My United States
Take a trip through the U.S. with these cheerful texts that highlight the appealing and special qualities of each state. The books mix short chapters of straightforward, informative text with bright, busy pages of special features throughout the volume as well as in the back matter. Connecticut highlights the state’s role as part of the New England region, along with its unique local government traditions. Nevada aptly contrasts the state’s wilderness areas with the urban experience of Las Vegas. Oklahoma weaves together aspects of the state’s history throughout the book, including the strong Native American presence in Oklahoma. Washington, D.C. goes beyond the usual focus on the federal government to explore the area’s natural features as well as the city’s history. Each book’s chapters focus on the state’s (or district’s) land and wildlife, government at various levels, history, and notable cultural institutions. Native peoples are mentioned in the history section although often only in passing. Large captioned photographs of key locations and people illustrate nearly every page. Each book also includes a variety of graphic features, from maps to a time line, a population graph, and a diagram showing the state’s electoral votes. These books in the True Book: My United States series are ideal for beginning research or just learning more about the country.

- Booklist, July 2018

Titles in this review include Connecticut, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Washington D.C.

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