Unfortunately, your access has now expired. But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 200,000 reviews.
Your access to Booklist Online has expired. If you still subscribe to the print magazine, please proceed to your profile page and check your subscriber number against a current magazine mailing label. (If your print subscription has lapsed, you will need to renew.)
Free Trial, activate profile, or subscribe
Find more Special Feature
Each January in Book Links, we publish a partner list to Booklist’s Books for Youth Editors’ Choice selections. “Lasting Connections” highlights our top 30 choices for the K–8 classroom, all published in the previous year and all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State and Next Generation Science Standards.
Flow, Spin, Grow: Looking for Patterns in Nature. By Patchen Barss. Illus. by Todd Stewart. Owlkids, $18.95 (9781771472876). Gr. 1–3.
Large-type action words and smaller, more detailed prose passages explain the concept of patterns in nature. Although Barss doesn’t specifically mention fractals or the Fibonacci sequence, he provides numerous examples by describing the branches of a tree and the Milky Way galaxy. He then makes connections within nature, comparing, for example, tree branches to rivers and bronchial tubes, and spiraling galaxies to snail shells and pigtail plants. The author continues with even more discoveries as he tells how branching, whether of water or oxygen, indicates flowing, and that spiraling, whether in shells that spiral out or storms that spiral in, indicates growing or shrinking. Digitally enhanced silkscreen paintings feature children engaged with nature’s patterns and encourage readers to make their own discoveries. A concluding author’s note provides more information on different kinds of patterns.
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain. By Cheryl Bardoe. Illus. by Barbara McClintock. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316278201). Gr. 2–4.
This engaging picture-book biography introduces readers to determined and brilliant French mathematician Sophie Germain. Whether trying to overcome barriers presented by her parents, eighteenth-century society, or the Royal Academy of Sciences, Sophie persevered in finding solutions to daunting mathematical challenges that confounded her male contemporaries. Her work in predicting patterns of vibrations laid the foundation for advances in construction techniques that are still being used today. McClintock’s intriguingly detailed illustrations highlight period details; emphasize Sophie’s gentle demeanor; and exuberantly show Sophie surrounded, inspired, and even protected by swirling numerical equations that splash across pages and endpapers. Sophisticated vocabulary, evocative imagery, and lofty math concepts (though presented in an accessible manner) skew this toward a slightly older audience. Author’s and illustrator’s notes provide additional insights, making this a useful and inspiring addition for STEM collections.
Drawn Together. By Minh Lê. Illus. by Dan Santat. Disney/Hyperion, $17.99 (9781484767603). K–Gr. 2.
When a young Asian American boy visits his Thai-speaking grandfather, despite his granddad’s best efforts—a hot dog for dinner, control of the TV remote—the language barrier and the generational divide seem insurmountable. Until, that is, the boy brings out his paper and markers and they’re matched by his grandfather’s sketchbook and paintbrush. Together, they’re drawn into a vibrant world of boy wizards and mythical Thai warriors, and “all the things we could never say come pouring out.” Lê’s poignant and deeply meaningful tale is rocketed into the stratosphere by Santat’s dynamic and playful visuals, imaginatively conceived and action-packed, even as they potently evoke the culture they’re drawn from. Focus on an underrepresented culture; highly accessible emotions; concise, strong storytelling; and artistic magnificence make this a must-have.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice: Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World. By Ilene Cooper. Abrams, $17.99 (9781419722950). Gr. 5–8.
In an engaging, inviting tone, Cooper offers a deeply researched, informative biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, which focuses not only on her many accomplishments but on her gradual, sometimes rocky growth toward becoming a more compassionate person aware of her own privilege. Framing her biography with an account of Roosevelt defying the panicked requests of her handlers, Cooper emphasizes the woman’s bravery, both in the face of detractors who objected to her projects and in the sense of facing down her own prejudice and learning from criticism. Cooper doesn’t avoid the harder parts of Roosevelt’s life, highlighting her troubling relationship with her children and mother-in-law as well as her heartbreak over her husband’s infidelity. Honest, informative, and with an acute critical approach, this illuminating biography is deftly written and engrossing.
Front Desk. By Kelly Yang. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9781338157796). Gr. 4–7.
Set in the early 1990s in Anaheim, California, this earnest debut is partially inspired by the author’s childhood. When Mia Tang’s parents find a new job managing the Calivista motel, it seems like the answer to their prayers: free housing and a stable, secure job, neither of which has come easy to the recent Chinese immigrants. Fifth-grader Mia takes pride in working the front desk and becomes fast friends with the weeklies, for whom the motel is a semipermanent residence. But the motel’s owner, Mr. Yao, is mean and racist, so Mia enters a writing contest to win their very own motel. It’s the details that sing in this novel, which will help foster empathy for the immigrant experience for young readers. For immigrant children, it is a much-needed and validating mirror.
Harbor Me. By Jacqueline Woodson. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, $17.99 (9780399252525). Gr. 5–8.
Given an empty classroom to talk about anything or nothing, six fifth- and sixth-graders who all learn differently find common ground. Haley, the book’s narrator, describes how each child begins to unfold. Esteban’s story demands to be told first; Immigration Services agents have taken his father away. Ashton, one of the school’s few white kids, is bullied. Amari sketches guns and worries about being shot. Puerto Rican Tiago struggles with being American, yet not American. Haley’s own story is intertwined with that of her best friend, Holly. The magic is in the writing: Woodson tells stories torn from headlines but personalizes them with poetry and memories, blunting their trauma with understanding and love. These children become each other’s safe harbors, and Woodson brilliantly shows readers how to find the connections we all need.
Hey, Kiddo. By Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Graphix, $24.99 (9780545902472). Gr. 8–12.
In this deeply vulnerable, moving graphic memoir, chosen as Booklist’s 2018 Top of the List—Nonfiction book, Krosoczka recounts his sometimes troubled childhood, spent largely with his grandparents; his struggle to maintain a relationship with his heroin-addicted mother; and his gradually developing love for making art and comics. His grandfather officially took custody of Krosoczka when he was not yet five years old, and it wasn’t until much later that he learned about his mother’s heroin addiction and imprisonment. Krosoczka’s brushy, expressive artwork, incorporating snippets of his childhood drawings and letters, beautifully conveys the difficult circumstances of his upbringing and his growing development of his artistic skills. A closing author’s note fills in additional backstory and helpful context, including the ultimate, heartbreaking result of his mother’s addiction.
House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery. By Liz Rosenberg. Illus. by Julie Morstad. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763660574). Gr. 7–10.
Rosenberg presents a condensed version of Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s private journals, interweaving Maud’s (as she liked to be called) own lyrical, emotive quotations with major life events. Though best known for creating Anne Shirley, Maud struggled with depression her entire life. She found companionship with good men but fell in lust with a bad one. Rosenberg paints a deep, complex portrait of a vibrant, brilliant, yet troubled woman. At the beginning of every chapter, Morstad accompanies these descriptions with Quentin Blake–like ink illustrations that capture the strange mix of whimsy, humor, and solemnity that permeated Maud’s thoughts. Recommend to Anne fans, aspiring writers, or anyone wanting a peek inside the mind of a famous author who constantly fought for success and happiness.
The Language of Spells. By Garret Weyr. Illus. by Katie Harnett. Chronicle, $16.99 (9781452159584). Gr. 4–7.
Weyr’s lovely and lyrical middle-grade novel interjects modern history into a dragon story. It begins in Germany’s Black Forest in 1803, when Grisha, a long-awaited dragon baby, is born. By the time Grisha meets Maggie in Vienna in the later twentieth century, two world wars have been fought and the dragons are in hiding. Grisha is disguised as a castle guide, but Maggie, the 11-year-old daughter of a poet, can see him for what he is, and the two begin to unravel an ages-old mystery. Weyr builds the fascinating story slowly, and her writing will appeal to children who enjoy the magisterial, fairy-tale quality. Its underlying focus—on things of importance that are hidden away when they disturb others—has contemporary resonance. Harnett’s roughly sketched illustrations beautifully punctuate the tale. An extraordinary piece on grace and love.
Llamaphones. By Janik Coat. Illus. by the author. Abrams/Appleseed, $15.99 (9781419728273). PreS–K.
French writer and illustrator Coat adds another winner to her series of clever concept books for toddlers (Hippoposites, 2012; Rhymoceros, 2015). Here she presents homophones, as demonstrated by a deadpan, kelly green llama. On every page, the llama appears as a cookie-cutter-style graphic against a white backdrop, which is then modified to reflect the meaning of a single vocabulary word. For instance, one spread pairs blew on the left-hand page (dandelion puffs swirl around the llama’s head) with blue on the right—you guessed it: the llama is now a lovely cerulean. Another spread shows one llama with sparkly wings (fairy) and the other on a boat (ferry). Tactile elements are added to many pages, ramping up sensory engagement for little ones. Tots won’t be bored with this sturdily constructed and brilliantly simple board book.
Look. By Fiona Woodcock. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow, $17.99 (9780062644558). PreS–Gr. 2.
Children will have a field day spotting all the ways in which Woodcock works double Os into the illustrations of this exceedingly clever picture book. Using a simple trip to the zoo as an amusing device by which to define a day, Woodcock follows a brother and sister as they zoom off to see a kangaroo, whose boxing gloves play at being letters, as do the eyes of a panda, scoops of ice cream, soap bubbles, and many more objects. In fact, every word in the book contains a pair of Os, which means that this works equally well as an easy-reading primer as it does a picture book. The illustrations rely on simplicity, while repeating motifs of simple shapes add playfulness. A visual treat that’s wonderfully effective in encouraging readers to appreciate the look of words.
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. By Linda Bailey. Illus. by Júlia Sardà. Tundra, $17.99 (9781770495593). K–Gr. 3.
Though young yet for the gothic classic, many children will likely be familiar with Mary Shelley’s famous monster; viewed in this eerie light, a picture-book biography on Shelley herself doesn’t seem out of place, especially one so stunning as this, which was Booklist’s 2018 Top of the List—Picture Book. Bailey relates Shelley’s childhood, rebellious adolescence, and participation in the now-famous writing competition that spawned the mad Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Her writing is warm and inclusive, posing occasional questions directly to the reader and establishing Shelley as a spirited dreamer. No less astonishing are Sardà’s folk-art-style illustrations, which employ deep, moody hues to create hauntingly detailed scenes. Readers will revel in this artful portrait of a celebrated young author and better appreciate the true brains behind the operation.
Poe Won’t Go. By Kelly DiPucchio. Illus. by Zachariah Ohora. Disney, $17.99 (9781484790595). K–Gr. 2.
When Poe, a huge elephant sporting a fedora and an unhappy expression, plops himself down in the middle of the road, the citizens of Prickly Valley unsuccessfully try to get him to move. When at last a hijab-wearing child named Marigold suggests talking to him, the derisive townsfolk admit that they don’t speak elephant. She gives it a go to learn he’s waiting for a tardy friend . . . or, more precisely, on a friend, as he discovers when he stands up (at a news reporter’s suggestion). With an immense pink pachyderm at their visual centers, the playful pictures will be easily discernible to small or large audiences. Best of all, by offering an example of the value of listening better to other voices (and, for that matter, to public media), the episode makes a timely point.
Dreamers. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Holiday/Neal Porter, $18.99 (9780823440559). Soñadores. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Teresa Mlawer. Holiday/Neal Porter, $18.99 (9780823442584). PreS–Gr. 2.
Yuyi Morales and her son are dreamers—the books they read allow them to imagine a new life in a new country that doesn’t always welcome them. Based on her own immigration tale, the multi-award-winning Morales’ newest picture book, published simultaneously in English and Spanish editions, recounts the challenges and wonders of living in a new country. She and her son experience discrimination because they don’t always know the customs of their new home, and English is a difficult barrier. Despite it all, Morales and her son find hope in the books of their local library, and their voracious reading leads them to create their own books. The narrative text is poetic and full of emotion. The English version is sprinkled with Spanish words, which monolingual readers will understand from context, and the mixed-media illustrations are breathtaking and intricate.
Hello Lighthouse. By Sophie Blackall. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown, $18.99 (9780316362382). K–Gr. 3.
When a new keeper arrives at a remote lighthouse, he sets out to make it a home; in Blackall’s rhythmic lines and gorgeous artwork, his adoration for the building, with its round rooms and windy ocean views, warmly comes through. Amid his responsibilities of lighting the beacon, clanging the bell in a fog, recording events in the logbooks, and helping ensure the safety of passing sailors, the lighthouse keeper makes a home with his wife, has a daughter, and feels remorse when he has to leave to make way for an automated light. All the while, Blackall’s bright, crisp artwork depicts the changing skies and seas around the proud, solid lighthouse. Blackall’s charmingly old-fashioned art style is beautifully matched to this nostalgia-rich story, which imbues an antiquated place with warmth and wonder.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968. By Alice Faye Duncan. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95 (9781629797182). Gr. 3–6.
In this impressive picture book, a character inspired by an African American family involved in the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike tells her first-person account of the experience in verse and prose. From Lorraine, we learn about the strike’s impetus and its effect on the community; the dreams that kept it going; the state of emergency; and the excitement when Dr. King marched there in March, followed by the tragedy that occurred when he was back on April 4. The informative back matter includes a time line and source notes. The excellent gouache art is typical of Christie’s distinctive and impactful style, with impressionistic images set on pages saturated with shades of blue, yellow, or orange. Most gratifyingly, the determination of the characters and the import of this part of history are imbued with dignity throughout.
Night Job. By Karen Hesse. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763662387). PreS–Gr. 1.
A young boy relates his experiences accompanying his father, a school custodian, to work in this eloquent, lovely picture book. The boy joins his father in the gym, the cafeteria, and the library, where the boy shares a book and then naps while his father finishes up. In lyrical language, Hesse vividly describes the details of what the father’s job entails, all the while conveying the joy of spending time together. It’s clear from the pictures that the boy and his father aren’t wealthy, but the matter-of-fact story instead focuses on adventuresome details of the work. Karas’ charming, fine-lined artwork, in panels and full-page spreads, uses a soft, muted palette as well as careful shadows and light to highlight both their nighttime routine and the sweet affection of a special father-son relationship.
Our Celebración! By Susan Middleton Elya. Illus. by Ana Aranda. Lee & Low, $17.95 (9781620142714). K–Gr. 3.
Fun and vibrant festivities fill the pages of this bilingual, rhyming picture book. As the fiesta begins, families gather together, waiting for a parade to start. Dancers in colorful traditional dresses and gymnasts in bright suits follow decorated cars. As clouds begin to gather and drops to fall, it is clear that there is no way it will rain on this parade. The showers cool off the crowds, who are treated to a beautiful rainbow and stay to watch the evening fireworks. Lilting, bilingual stanzas match each vibrantly illustrated spread, and the expertly rhyming lines help reinforce pronunciation of the Spanish words. People of all backgrounds are portrayed enjoying the festivities together, filling the scenes with happiness and friendship. A perfect addition to children’s picture-book collections.
Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote. By Susan Zimet and Todd Hasak-Lowy. Viking, $19.99 (9780451477545). Gr. 5–8.
This begins at England’s 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton hoped to participate in the proceedings. Realizing that she was barred because “I was only a woman” was a shock to her system. But she used that shock to make waves in America, writing a Declaration of Sentiments that included the right to vote. This follows the struggles, intimidation, indignities, and disappointments that occurred on the road to the vote. The authors don’t shy away from showing the women’s imperfections; for instance, Stanton, infuriated that African American men were granted the right to vote before women, sometimes used racist imagery. Extra information comes in sidebars: the cleverly titled “Know Your Radicals” profiles more suffragettes, while “Putting It in Perspective” details other branches of reform movements.
They Lost Their Heads! What Happened to Washington’s Teeth, Einstein’s Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts. By Carlyn Beccia. Illus. by the author. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9780802737458). Gr. 5–8.
You’ve heard about van Gogh’s ear, but what about Mata Hari, whose head vanished from the Museum of Anatomy in Paris? Or Elvis Presley’s wart, removed in 1958 and eventually sold to a private collection? In this wacky, gross, and remarkably informative volume, Beccia collects the gnarly stories of famous body parts that have been preserved throughout history. Some of these historical figures will be familiar to young readers, and some of them will not. Interspersed with these chapters are sections on the science behind death, dying, and preservation and bite-size tales of other thematically relevant deaths and death rituals. Frequent black-and-white spot art and snarky footnote asides add comedy to this already high-interest blend of history and science. Entertaining and fascinating, with a clever incorporation of STEM topics.
What Do You Do with a Voice like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. By Chris Barton. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781481465625). Gr. 2–4.
This oversize picture-book biography of Barbara Jordan, the charismatic congresswoman from Texas, takes a chronological approach, beginning with her childhood and college days. It then continues on through her political career, paying special attention to the role she played as a member of the 1974 U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the stirring televised speech she made to a national audience regarding the committee’s recommendation to impeach President Nixon. The text features lyrical, inspiring language that will be easily accessible for young audiences. The vibrant multimedia illustrations spill across pages, incorporating collage and multiple overlay techniques. The overall theme is that Ms. Jordan had a strong, compelling voice. Whether expressing her own beliefs or speaking out on behalf of others, she made sure that she was heard—and young readers are encouraged to do the same.
Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild. By Catherine Thimmesh. HMH, $17.99 (9780544818910). Gr. 5–7.
In clear, fact-packed prose, Sibert medalist Thimmesh examines the panda reintroduction program that began in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve. After a rocky start, the program settled on its ultimate goal: to prepare panda cubs for eventual release by eliminating human contact (workers dressed up in panda suits so cubs wouldn’t become desensitized to humans) and getting them ready for everything they might experience in the wild. Thimmesh folds in facts about the effects pandas have on their ecosystem, discusses other endangered species across the globe, and notes the trial and error inherent with the scientific method. Frequent detailed pictures of pandas and their caretakers complement the measured text, and extensive back matter—including a subsection on what the average person can do to help conservation efforts—makes this an excellent resource for researchers, STEM-lovers, and aspiring environmentalists.
The Dinosaur Expert. By Margaret McNamara. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780553511437). K–Gr. 3.
A field trip to the natural history museum with Mr. Tiffin’s class? That’s perfect for Kimmy, who collects fossils. She impresses Jake, a classmate, with how much she knows about dinosaurs, but when she mentions wanting to become a scientist, he responds, “Girls aren’t scientists.” Surprised and deflated, Kimmy goes quiet. Looking at photos of paleontologists of the past, she sees only men. But in the next room, Mr. Tiffin calls her over to see an exhibit sign with photos of the woman scientist who discovered that dinosaur fossil. Hopeful again, Kimmy confides to her teacher, “I want to be just like her,” and receives a heartening response. An appended two-page section features Kimmy’s favorite paleontologists, six women currently working in the field and one girl from the nineteenth century: groundbreaking fossil-scientist Mary Anning.
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science. By Joyce Sidman. HMH, $17.99 (9780544717138). Gr. 4–7.
Considered by many to be the world’s first ecologist, Maria Merian broke ground through her meticulous observations of insects and beautiful depictions of them within their natural habitats. Sidman’s writing radiates Maria’s passion and curiosity for the natural world, and it is as absorbing as fiction. Colored inserts give further historical and cultural context to Maria’s life, noting such things as the limitations placed on women during the seventeenth century and how the era’s curiosity cabinets led to the creation of museums. A fantastic array of illustrations embellishes the text with photos of butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises and lovely images of Maria’s artwork and that of her fathers and stepfathers. Meanwhile, exceptional captions identify and establish each illustration’s relevance to Maria’s life. A vibrant, wonderfully rounded biography on a pioneering and prodigiously talented woman.
The Hyena Scientist. By Sy Montgomery. Illus. by Nic Bishop. HMH, $18.99 (9780544635111). Gr. 5–7.
This latest installment in the acclaimed Scientists in the Field series, penned by National Book Award finalist Montgomery, heads to Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve, where zoologist Kay Holekamp has studied the spotted hyena for three decades. Hyenas are unusual among mammals in that they’re entirely led by females; appropriate, then, that Kay has led groundbreaking zoological research in a field dominated by men. From their physiology to their social structure, hyenas break a lot of scientific rules, and scientists can glean a lot by studying them. Montgomery covers hyena behavior, fieldwork processes, and daily life in the African bush, but she also profiles Kay and her research team, all of whom have their own reasons for being interested in hyenas. A fascinating, informative, and inclusive window into a feared and misunderstood species.
In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More than 500 Million Years. By David Elliott. Illus. by Matthew Trueman. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763660734). K–Gr. 3.
Dinosaurs and other mammoth creatures might be the star attraction here, but the poems themselves are bite-size. In vivacious, often humorous verse, Elliott walks readers through prehistoric times, beginning with the tiny trilobite, which appeared more than 500 million years ago. A time line at the bottom of each spread gives readers an assist as the book moves chronologically forward, and the text walks a fine line between scientific and poetic. It’s not just dinosaurs profiled here; the book heads all the way into the Quaternary period (that’s the one we’re currently in) and introduces creatures like the saber-toothed tiger and the woolly mammoth. Trueman’s full-bleed, vibrant portraits bring long-extinct animals to energetic life, and a final spread offers up more scientific facts. A journey into the past that’s a visual and linguistic joy.
Lifesize. By Sophy Henn. Illus. by the author. Kane/Miller, $16.99 (9781610677318). PreS–Gr. 1.
As foretold by the title, this oversize, interactive picture book features life-size illustrations of various animals—or at least the parts that fit on the pages. Young readers are invited to get their toes out and compare toenails with an African elephant, spread their fingers and try to high-five a polar bear, or hang a sideways double-page spread underneath their noses to get the effect of a full-on Bengal tiger roar. Not all of the creatures are supersize; smaller specimens include a desert scorpion, Cuban parakeet, and tiny bee hummingbird. Intervening pages offer brief tidbits about behaviors and habitats, and a steady stream of content-based questions reinforce material. The final pages pull all the examples into a comparison chart and ask readers to estimate where they would fit.
The Space Adventurer’s Guide: Your Passport to the Coolest Things to See and Do in the Universe. By Peter McMahon. Illus. by Josh Holinaty. Kids Can, $17.99 (9781771380324). Gr. 4–7.
Composed as a futuristic travel guide, this inventive, inviting volume introduces young readers to some basic space science, along with a bevy of thrilling proposed advancements on the horizon. Beginning with a discussion of the requirements of space travel and an overview of the current state of space tourism, McMahon then launches into the possible future of space vacations. In each section, McMahon uses a genial tone to introduce concepts, like time dilation during speed-of-light travel or how magnetic fields affect the likelihood of auroras on other planets. Each section is packed with weird and wonderful tidbits—all of which are grounded in real science—photos of actual astronauts, and clearly labeled full-color images all tied to the text. Inset boxes, tone-setting cartoon spot illustrations, and quotes from astronauts make the magazine-like pages even more engaging.
Trees: Kings of the Forest. By Andy Hirsch. Illus. by the author. First Second, $12.99 (9781250143105). Gr. 4–8.
An inquisitive acorn is the star of this comic, and he’s not sure he really wants to be a boring old tree. But a bevy of helpful forest denizens helps him realize that trees are important, powerful, and not at all boring. Using clearly explained technical language, Hirsch covers a wide variety of topics, including tropism, tree structure, biodiversity, and symbiotic relationships, all made accessible by the engaging format and joke-heavy dialogue. The cheery, gap-toothed cartoon acorn is a genial, inviting guide, and Hirsch’s crisp, dynamic, full-color artwork as well as loads of helpful diagrams do a fantastic job of conveying the engrossing science. It’s hard not to see the wonder in this dense, pithy comic, and kids who are under the misapprehension that trees are boring will quickly learn otherwise.
Water Land: Land and Water Forms around the World. By Christy Hale. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.99 (9781250152442). PreS–Gr. 1.
This inventive and informative book introduces aquatic-related geographic concepts. Each full-page spread has a single term—such as cape or archipelago
—set on a happy scene of diverse groups of people interacting with and enjoying the environment. For each one, the concept itself is depicted with an imaginative die-cut that, with the turn of a page, transforms a gulf into a peninsula, or a strait into an isthmus, and so forth, demonstrating how one is often the opposite of the other. There are 10 in total, each of which has, in the back matter, an illustrated definition that elucidates those opposites and, in a large foldout map, an example of where one can be found on Earth, along with a list of some distinctive examples. A sturdy, well-designed, and charming resource for younger readers.
Free Trial, activate profile, or subscribe