Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers eager to hop aboard Ms. Frizzle's bus for another junket will not be disappointed by this latest expedition. It's visitor's day at school and the students have turned the classroom into Dinosaur Land, but the impulsive teacher nevertheless announces a dinosaur dig, and the class piles onto the magic school bus. At the site, paleontologists have uncovered the bones of some Maiasaura dinosaurs, but are disappointed that they haven't found any nests. With a characteristic gleam in her eye, Ms. Frizzle asks, ``Want to look for some Maiasaura nests, kids?''--and the bus becomes a time machine transporting the class back millions of years. They make stops in the Late Triassic Period, the Late Jurassic Period, the Late Cretaceous Period and, finally, the Cretaceous Period, where they discover a Maiasaura nesting ground. In exploring each era, the students examine various dinosaur species' habits and habitats, diets and physical characteristics. As always, Cole's text and Degen's art are fastidiously researched and exuberantly presented on creatively crowded pages. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Part of the Scholastic "Voyages of Discovery" series, Wind and Weather offers children an opportunity to read and interact with a book. Turn the pages and learn about air, the atmosphere surrounding the earth, how barometers and thermometer work, how water becomes rain, snow and hail through clear simple text and illustrations. Are you confused as to the difference between a tornado and a hurricane? Do you know how weather is studied and predictions made? Answers to these and other questions are readily available. If your appetite has been whetted for more weather facts, there is a reading list, names of famous scientists who studied the weather, and words to know that can lead the inquisitive to further discoveries.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Ms. Frizzle rides again! After her class excursions to such fascinating places as the waterworks, inside the earth, and the human body, it's only natural for the world's most imaginative (and most exotically dressed) science teacher to explore the age of the dinosaurs. With the aid of a time machine school bus, tongue-in-cheek asides, and "student written" sidebars explaining terms the way a kid can really understand them, Cole and Degen have created the best and most entertaining science series ever.
Children's Literature - Victoria Crenson
Par of the "Voyages of Discovery" series, this interactive book make use of reusable stickers, overlays, punch-outs, fold-outs, even a piece of sample 35mm film to engage readers. The story moviemaking is told in short sections of easy-to-read text, highlighting the people and inventions that advanced technology. The History of Moviemaking is packed with interesting facts about famous movie actors and directors, groundbreaking films, and about the technological development of the medium. It also includes a fascinating look at how film sound effects are produced. The book contains a glossary, timeline, lists of books for further reading, and addresses of museums with especially good exhibits on the subjects.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Kelly
This broad overview of mammal life combines stunning graphics with a clear text to produce a valuable entry into Scholastic's Voyages of Discovery Series. A plethora of bookmaking techniques are employed, from pull-out pages to flaps to stickers, and for the most part, these concepts work to make the information more accessible. In some cases, however, such as the inclusion of a series of stickers designed for placement by the reader throughout the book, these "innovations" fall into the realm of gimmickry. On the whole, however, Mammals is informative and well produced, and young animal lovers especially will find themselves enthralled. Beyond the traditional glossary and index, the book's appendices offer a host of extra information, from a timeline to a "Mammals in Folklore" section. 1997 (Orig.
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
Scholastic has created a book and plant press to introduce children to botany. The small format book includes illustrations detailing the anatomy of plants and their evolution. Groups of plants are then discussed by habitat including prairies, bogs, fields, woods; by the sea; ponds and mountains. There is even a chart that explains how certain flowers open at different times of the day. The press is quite simple and instructions are straightforward.
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Although an activity kit is included, this is no toy-it's a nicely illustrated primer for junior meteorologists that teachers and homeschooling parents could use for a science unit. The text isn't dumbed-down, and the glossary helps with definitions like "inclination" and "millibar." The kit is a small, whale-shaped weather station that lets kids measure temperature, rainfall, and wind speed and direction. Being able to use the weather station properly is a good incentive to pay attention to the book's contents. 1997 (orig.
Children's Literature - Glen Mayers
Wind and Weather is an intriguing overview of every facet of meteorology with many references to the field of earth science. It's more than a book; it's an excellent interactive publication that is fun for children, and also useful for parents and teachers. Easy to understand text and lavish illustrations (overlays, foldouts, and three-dimensional depictions) are attention grabbers, but they also impart a wealth of information about one of nature's most misunderstood phenomenon-the weather. Also included are a handy reference guide, glossary, index, and brief biographies of the more important meteorologists from the past. Part of the "Voyages of Discovery" series that also includes Paint and Painting, Musical Instruments, Taming Fire, The World of Theater, Wind and Weather and a dozen more titles.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
The indefatigable Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen have made it possible for you and your youngsters to ride The Magic School Bus In The Time Of The Dinosaurs. Get on board! Miss Frizzle and the class meet contemporary paleontologists and then journey back in time to meet the dinosaurs.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6A flashy, colorful set of books with numerous die-cut pages, transparencies, fold-outs, and reusable stickers. All of the titles feature short text, lots of full-color illustrations, informative captions, and sidebars. The spiral bindings are enclosed in a standard spine, making the books easy to label and attractive to shelve. Architecture begins with simple shelters, progresses to the classical world's constructions, medieval castles and cathedrals, Japanese paper houses, bridges, London's Crystal Palace, skyscrapers, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Moviemaking covers the development of motion pictures from stills, the invention of talkies and technicolor, Hollywood, competition from television, special effects and animation, and notable people, such as Chaplin and Eisenstein. Flight starts with the dream of flight and flying animals and continues with kites, gliders, balloons and dirigibles, the invention of airplanes, the Wright Brothers, early flying aces, warplanes, and how navigational systems work. Wind discusses the atmosphere, clouds, different kinds of precipitation, rainbows and mirages, weather systems and storms, climates, and forecasting the weather. None of the books goes into great depth, but all have small, useful tidbits of information scattered throughout. Occasionally, simplification of the topics results in some strange wording: e.g., drag is explained by saying that "air tries to pull the plane backward," and light is compared to "millions of tiny balls," which may be misleading to beginners. Nonetheless, due to their format, style, and appealing topics, these books are sure to be popular.Jeffrey A. French, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library