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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 K–8 classrooms, all published in the previous year and all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
From 1 to 10. By Mies van Hout. Illus. by the author. Pajama, $15.95 (9781772780840). PreS–K.
This standout counting book goes from 1 to 10 and has great child (and adult) appeal. The author makes the experience of counting both joyful and imitative through the use of animal personalities and anatomies. Each number, paired with an animal body part or attribute (spots, stripes), receives its own double-page spread, with the number on one side and an animal represented on the other, sometimes spilling across the gutter: there are 7 bright stripes on a fish, 5 clever monkey fingers, and 1 big bear belly. A final spread takes this a step beyond most counting books, offering practical advice for parents or caregivers, explaining the usefulness of counting books for early readers, and including several fun and educational activities—one of which, of course, is counting with this book again and again.
Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future. By Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn. Illus. by Chelsea Beck. Disney, $17.99 (9781368011051). Gr. 2–4.
As WWII loomed, technology advanced. At the University of Pennsylvania, female mathematicians, called “computers,” solved calculations that would help with the mechanics of the war effort. Betty Snyder, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty, mathematicians and engineers equipped with particular skills, were tasked with programming ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), one of the first computers. Ultimately, they accomplished their task, though they received little recognition at the time. Here complicated concepts are clarified for younger students, with poetic grace. Betty, Jean, and Kay are made distinct through both the rhythmic text and the retro pastel art. A final spread, set in the modern day, highlights the lasting echoes of their work and its effects on those studying computer science today. Thorough back matter completes this essential ode to women in STEAM.
Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me. By Susan L. Roth. Illus. by the author. Holiday, $18.99 (9780823442829). Gr. 1–3.
Part picture-book memoir and part informational text, this fanciful ode to the creative process and the colorful courtship practices of bowerbirds will delight budding artists and bird-lovers alike. Both Roth and the bird collect “unusual, often unrelated stuff”—he to attract a mate, and she to illustrate her stories. However, this lyrical meditation is more than just a compare-and-contrast exercise. The author-illustrator dives deep into how and why she makes her crafting decisions, presenting the artist’s process as a fluid endeavor, equal parts cerebral and mechanical, that invites would-be creators in. Detailed back matter provides a fascinating list of bowerbird facts, defines uncommon words, and gives children more insight into Roth’s craft. A refreshing take on bird books that will inspire ornithophiles as well as aspiring makers.
Comics: Easy as ABC! By Ivan Brunetti. Illus. by the author. TOON, $16.95 (9781943145447). Gr. 2–5.
TOON Books condenses the vast experience, talent, and child-friendly energy on display in its graphic novels into this comic-creation intensive. Comprehensive in its comics theory but pitched to its readership of young would-be cartoonists, this slim volume offers a new lesson on almost every page. This design allows kids to follow it step-by-step or jump around to the examples that most pique their interest, with a premium put on imaginative fun. While the book is conceptually ambitious, it doesn’t skimp on the details and small devices, highlighting that it’s the small things that bring individual style forward and make a comic tight and clear. Lest grown-ups feel left out, there’s a short section for adults and educators about integrating comics into a child’s literacy development.
Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum. By Dr. Seuss. Illus. by Andrew Joyner. Random, $18.99 (9780399559129). Gr. 1–4.
This unfinished, hidden gem was first uncovered by Geisel’s wife, Audrey, in Ted’s studio. The text and rough pencil sketches outlined the story and highlighted artists from all cultures. In this finished adaptation, Australian illustrator Joyner references Seuss’ style with his digitally created pictures and energetic characters. With a bow-tied horse as narrator, the book invites children and adults to enter a museum to see what artists across the world have done with the horse through the centuries, using line drawing, ceramics, sculpture, weaving, and painting. Art terms and styles (e.g., impressionism, expressionism, surrealism, cubism, and abstract) are defined in bold letters and elaborated upon in extensive endnotes. A fascinatingly effective method for introducing students to the artistic styles of different cultures and time periods, a terrific jumping-off point for aspiring artists, and an excellent replica of a first museum visit.
Fly! By Mark Teague. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781534451292). PreS–Gr. 2.
Humorous, detailed acrylic paintings reveal a mother robin and her reluctant-to-fly child. While he’s still a fuzzy-headed baby, his mother brings him worms for nourishment. As he increases in size, the fledgling becomes vociferous and—dare we say it—obnoxious in the increasingly strident demands he makes on his bedraggled parent. One day, the baby bird hops out of the nest and falls, swirling, to the ground, where he is inclined to stay. The wordless tale encourages visual literacy skills through speech bubbles filled with illustrations of the youngster’s grandiose ideas. As day turns to night, his increasingly frustrated mother’s warnings of danger, should he remain on the ground, don’t do anything to reduce his confidence . . . until she mentions one predator that finally does the trick. Engaging illustrations and the baby bird’s wild ideas will entertain audiences of all ages.
How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps. By Nicola Winstanley. Illus. by John Martz. Tundra, $17.99 (9780735263543). K–Gr. 3.
With all good intentions and little insight into feline behavior, a small girl with brown skin and pink hair fashioned into two poufy ponytails attempts to cleanse her pet by following the instructions of an unseen narrator. The white, bulbous-nosed cat does not comply. The digitally colored pen-and-ink illustrations detail the frenetic endeavor and the ensuing turmoil the child inadvertently creates. Five easy steps? Not a chance! This laugh-out-loud picture book can serve as a beginning reader since the text has repeated phrases and few words per page. The illustrations often have an interactive component; dialogue appears in speech bubbles, and characters leave a trail of dots behind them during a search-and-find. The inevitable ending will delight both children and adults, and this title will be requested over and over.
The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Sarah Jacoby. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062393449). K–Gr. 3.
A paean to iconoclastic imagination, Barnett and Jacoby’s tribute to the prolific children’s author repeatedly asks and tries to answer, “What is important about Margaret Wise Brown?” The story moves between a group of rabbits at storytime (illustrated à la Clement Hurd) to flashes of Brown’s life itself (done by Jacoby in light, flowery, and even moody watercolors), as if being told to the bunnies pictured with her books (Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, among others). “There are people who will say a story like this doesn’t belong in a children’s book,” Barnett posits, before later going on to say, “No good book is loved by everyone.” Yet he believes, like Brown, that children are capable of contemplating the strange. It’s a book with a brave appeal, and its admiration of Brown and respect for children makes it a standout picture-book biography.
Lalani of the Distant Sea. By Erin Entrada Kelly. Illus. by Lian Cho. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780062747273). Gr. 4–8.
On the island of Sanlagita, the strongest men have always sailed north in search of fabled Mount Isa. It is said that there are riches at Isa’s peak, chief among them a yellow flower that can cure disease. All her life, 12-year-old Lalani has watched the sailors leave, only for them never to return. When Sanlagita is beset by calamities—first a drought, then torrential rains, and finally illness befalling Lalani’s mother—Lalani finds inspiration in the tales of Ziva, the precocious girl who long ago dared to stow away on a ship bound for Isa. Inspired by Filipino folklore, Newbery Award winner Kelly has woven her lushly written narrative with a rich and delicious (though occasionally perilous) mythology. Enriched by lively storytelling and insightful world building, this novel has a timeless quality that puts it on par with classic fairy tales.
The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems. Ed. by Paul B. Janeczko. Illus. by Richard Jones. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763681685). Gr. 1–4.
In this charmingly illustrated collection, poets classic (Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson) and modern (Kwame Alexander, Margarita Engle) offer a variety of how-to poems that vary widely in tone: Elaine Magliaro is thoughtful and austere in “How to Be a Mole,” as she advises readers to “listen for the soft music / of seeds sprouting, / worms wiggling / rain pattering on your grassy roof.” By contrast, Douglas Florian is playful in “Tired Hair,” as he says, “If you’re tired of your hair, / Rope it to a rocking chair . . . / Tie it into fifty knots; / Dye it green with purple spots.” The content ranges from the mundane to the fantastical, and Jones’ illustrations—at times impish and adorable, at others restrained and lovely—brilliantly capture the essence of each poem. A useful poetry compendium that can be shared in sections or in its entirety.
The Roots of Rap. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Frank Morrison. little bee, $18.99 (9781499804119). Gr. 1–3.
Written in free verse, this picture book effortlessly pays homage to the four pillars of hip-hop culture: rap music, graffiti, break dancing, and DJing. The spare, four-line verses blend together creative wordplay, clever allusions, expressive storytelling, and shout-outs to other artists, all delivered in a rhythmic beat. Rap luminaries and their contributions get nods: the text acknowledges the poetry of Langston Hughes; the exuberant stage presence of James Brown; the innovative blendings of DJ Kool Herc; and the artistry of such stars as Eminem, Queen Latifah, and Nas. While the undulating cadence of the text begs to be read aloud, the illustrations are no less impressive. Images swirl and flow across pages, catching street artists in action while celebrating hip-hop clothing and hairstyles. This tribute to hip-hop culture will appeal to a wide audience and practically demands multiple readings.
Caravan to the North: Misael’s Long Walk. By Jorge Argueta. Illus. by Manuel Monroy. Groundwood, $16.95 (9781773063294). Gr. 4–7.
The award-winning Salvadoran writer Argueta offers a brief but powerful novel in verse. Misael and his family have made the difficult decision to leave their beloved home in El Salvador to head north. Like many of their compatriots, they choose to travel by joining “the caravan,” a large group of migrants and refugees who travel en masse through Central America toward the U.S. border. Argueta’s sense-filled memories of farming, marañones, and snow cones emphasize the sorrow of leaving the country he loves “so, so much.” Includes an afterword by Argueta, who also migrated north from El Salvador as a young man, and a map depicting the caravan’s path. Many U.S. children likely have questions about this topic, and Argueta’s powerful perspective will not only educate but perhaps offer solidarity to kids who have similar personal experiences.
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Tradition. By Kevin Noble Maillard. Illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (9781626727465). K–Gr. 2.
This book celebrates the thing itself and much, much more. The simplicity of the ingredients, readers learn, belies the quality of the cooking process, the proximity with people, the historical tradition, the geography—for “fry bread is everything.” Maillard and Martinez-Neal bring depth, detail, and whimsy to this Native American food story, with text and illustrations depicting the diversity of indigenous peoples, the role of continuity between generations, and the adaptation over time of people, place, and tradition. Martinez-Neal’s illustrations show smiling, round-faced children playing together and learning from elders, and details include traditional Seminole textile designs, doll making, and pottery styles. A lengthy author’s note provides valuable context and history, as well as the author’s personal evolution into the “fry bread lady” with his own modern take on the recipe.
Lubna and Pebble. By Wendy Meddour. Illus. by Daniel Egnéus. Dial, $17.99 (9780525554165). K–Gr. 2.
Lubna’s best friend is Pebble, but before we can wonder why, we learn that she found it when she and her father arrived in a World of Tents. The fact that they are refugees might be lost on the youngest readers as this significant fact is only subtly conveyed in the text. But a quiet sense of loss pervades the story and is amplified when another small child, Amir, arrives. Egnéus’ illustrations imbue the scenes with a childlike perspective, as boats dwarf tiny Lubna and close-ups of Amir’s drooped shoulders convey the weight of trauma the children carry. Yet there is also a tenderness and optimism in their playful delight and shared love of Pebble. This timely story of displacement, loss, friendship, and kindness pitches the refugee crisis in terms the youngest set can easily grasp.
New Kid. By Jerry Craft. Illus. by the author. Harper, $12.99 (9780062691194). Gr. 4–7.
Seventh-grader Jordan Banks may be the new kid at his upper-crust private school, but this remarkably honest and accessible story is not just about being new; it’s unabashedly about race. Example after uncomfortable example hits the mark: casual assumptions about black students’ families and financial status, black students being mistaken for one another, well-intentioned teachers awkwardly stumbling over language, competition over skin tones among the black students themselves. Yet it’s clear that everyone has a burden to bear, and Jordan only learns to navigate his new world by not falling back on his own assumptions. Craft’s easygoing art loosens things up considerably, and excerpts from Jordan’s sketch book provide several funny, poignant, and insightful asides. Speaking up about the unrepresented experience of so many students makes this a necessary book, particularly for this age group.
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation. By Barry Wittenstein. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. Holiday/Neal Porter, $18.99 (9780823443314). Gr. 2–5.
The civil rights movement is magnified through the intimate lens of Martin Luther King Jr.’s momentous “I Have a Dream” speech, as—in the Willard Hotel before the March on Washington—he wrestles with what to say. After the reverend finally takes the pulpit, he abandons the agonized-over speech in favor of inspired improvisation. Wittenstein’s free verse flows crisp and clear, while Pinkney’s collage work gives the impression of torn fabric—a striking metaphor—with holes patched by old photographs of hymnals, maps, marchers, and flags, adding texture and tension to the expressive pencil-and-watercolor renderings. Back matter includes notes from the author and the artist, sources, bibliography, and further information on peripheral figures. A valuable resource for classroom discussions on activism, the power of words, and how, as this book reminds us, “those battles continue to be fought” today.
The Proudest Blue. By Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali. Illus. by Hatem Aly. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316519007). K–Gr. 3.
The first day of school is also the first day of hijab for little Faizah’s sixth-grade sister, Asiya, who selects a beautiful shade of blue to wear. Faizah sees her sister as a princess, but not everyone shares her perspective, and encounters with ignorant bullies in the schoolyard inspire Faizah to represent her culture with confidence. Muhammad and Ali’s poetic prose has a reminiscent quality, with short sentences setting a thoughtful rhythm. Aly’s ink-wash-and-pencil illustrations settle and soar along with the language, swapping seamlessly between the concrete setting and metaphoric reflections on Asiya’s hijab, the scarf’s blue tail flowing out into curls of ocean or sky. This story, as both window and mirror, inevitably educates, but more important, it encourages pride in and respect for hijab through a tale of two sisters, their bond strengthened by faith.
Shout. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Viking, $17.99 (9780670012107). Gr. 9–12.
In blunt and biting verse, Anderson’s memoir covers her difficult early childhood, her own rape at the age of 13, her trauma and slow recovery through high school, and her experiences surrounding the publication of her debut, Speak (1999). In the final section, the narrative becomes more of a chorus, recounting the stories that readers—female and male, adults but especially teenagers—have shared with her about their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment. The classroom benefit of this book is undeniable—it’s a primer on writing and on living, and Anderson’s effect on teens has never waned. But more than that, this is a captivating, powerful read about clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is.
What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal. By Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger. Annick, $24.95 (9781773213293). Gr. 6–9.
Yellowhorn and Lowinger document the resistance and resilience of North America’s Indigenous peoples, from European contact to the present. Thematic chapters explore early Viking incursions, Natives’ participation in wars, the changes horses brought to Indigenous society, forced migrations and massacres, assimilation, contemporary efforts toward reconciliation, and recognition of traditional knowledge. The tone is informative, with the facts (many of which will be new to young readers) speaking clearly on their own. The choice of narrative style, inclusion of examples from all parts of North America, and an emphasis on personal stories over court decisions all result in a work that is highly accessible to a wide audience. Colorful, captioned illustrations (a mix of contemporary photographs, maps, and period reproductions) appear on almost every page, and numerous sidebars highlight topics of special interest.
When Aidan Became a Brother. By Kyle Lukoff. Illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Lee & Low, $18.95 (9781620148372). K–Gr. 3.
Though assigned female at birth, biracial Aidan dislikes his girl’s clothes and pink bedroom, and after he tells his parents that he’s a trans boy, they lovingly rectify their errors. When Aidan learns that his mom is pregnant, he worries about not being a good big brother. He learns that, though he might make some mistakes, the most important thing is simply loving his new sibling. A trans man himself, Lukoff writes with authority and love, taking time to clearly introduce Aidan’s identity with sensitivity and grace before launching the narrative. Juanita’s cheerful digital illustrations are a nicely harmonious match with the text, expanding it in meaningful ways. Together, the text and pictures create a heartfelt celebration of love that offers a gentle introduction to gender identity, ideal for trans kids and any child expecting a new sibling.
The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives. By Eloise Greenfield. Illus. by Daniel Minter. Alazar, $17.95 (9780997772074). Gr. 3–6.
Through words and images, this book of verse celebrates the tradition of African American midwives guiding babies into the world “with gentle, loving hands.” It opens with Greenfield’s prose introduction to midwives’ work, education, and dedication to a calling. The first poem sets the tone—“They caught the babies, / and catch them still, / welcome them into the world, / for loving”—with others progressing through the periods of enslavement and emancipation, up to the twenty-first century. While well-chosen archival photos accompany the book’s introduction and conclusion, poems are illustrated by Minter’s strong, graceful paintings, featuring rich colors brightened by white, netlike forms created with repeated motifs evocative of the natural world: the ocean, sea-foam, fishes, birds, branches, leaves, blossoms, fruits, and new life waiting to be born. A moving tribute to an often-overlooked class of woman.
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean. By Dean Robbins. Illus. by Sean Rubin. Scholastic, $17.99 (9781338259537). Gr. 1–4.
As a member of the Apollo 12 team and an artist, Alan Bean brought his passions together and shared them with the world. This book opens with the exciting mission, during which Bean became one of few humans to walk on the moon, before flashing back to his childhood. Much of his later life was spent conveying his extraterrestrial experience, and Robbins collaborated with Bean, who, before his death, approved the manuscript and made his art available. Rubin takes some artistic license with his own illustrations, conveying feelings and impressions rather than exact depictions, just as Bean did. Back matter comprises source notes, a time line, and a fascinating comparison of space photographs and Bean’s interpretations of the same scenes. A standout among titles that blend art and science, reflecting the best aims of STEAM.
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. By Sabina Radeva. Illus. by the author. Crown, $18.99 (9781984894915). Gr. 1–5.
In this illustrated adaptation, microbiologist Radeva—after identifying several of Darwin’s contemporaries in the field—defines various species, touches on survival of the fittest and extinction, describes the concept of common ancestors, explains why fossils are so rare, observes how instinctual behaviors such as migration are tied to evolution, and clarifies the ways in which similar features may present differently in some species. The text is brief, allowing the detailed illustrations to serve as a visual narrative. The layout is particularly appealing, utilizing captioned art, speech balloons, and short quotations from the original that provide readers with a good grounding on this topic. Appended with an author’s note, explanations of recent scientific discoveries that differ from Darwin’s ideas, a glossary, and clarifications of Darwinism misconceptions, this is a beautiful introduction to a complex topic.
The Line Tender. By Kate Allen. Illus. by Xingye Jin. Dutton, $17.99 (9780735231603). Gr. 4–8.
Lucy and her best friend, Fred, have devoted their summer largely to a school project: creating a field guide to Cape Ann, their coastal New England town. Together, they make up the perfect team: science-minded Fred supplies the guide’s facts and data, and Lucy uses her artistic talents to illustrate each specimen. When a tragic accident claims Fred’s life, Lucy immerses herself in studying the great white sharks that had captivated him toward the end of their project. Allen’s story of navigating grief speaks to average tween experiences, while also drawing excellent connections between science and art. The latter help Lucy regain her footing and to begin understanding her place in her altered, but still beautiful, world. An emotionally rich and touching debut.
The Magnificent Migration: On Safari with Africa’s Last Great Herds. By Sy Montgomery. Illus. by Roger Wood and Logan Wood. HMH, $24.99 (9780544761131). Gr. 5–8.
While similar to her volumes in the Scientists in the Field series, this stand-alone title has a far more personal tone, as Montgomery narrates her experiences with wildebeest expert Dr. Richard Estes and their safari team as they track the massive, year-round migration of these animals. Montgomery impressively conveys the large-scale importance of wildebeest’s Serengeti circuit by focusing on the details observed (and smelled) on her journey. Wildebeest, also called gnus, are a keystone species whose pursuit of Africa’s rains keeps its grassland ecosystem healthy, but human expansion and poaching are taking a toll on this, to use Montgomery’s term, symphonic migration. She zooms in on other animal migrants and creatures her team encounters on their travels, providing a larger context for the wildebeest’s migration and a clear depiction of nature’s interconnectedness.
Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters. By Carlyn Beccia. Illus. by the author. Carolrhoda, $19.99 (9781512449167). Gr. 4–7.
Extraordinarily clever and phenomenally entertaining, this graphics-forward resource intrepidly investigates the science behind eight monsters and cryptids, digging into the possibilities of their existence, exploring ways to react in case of a hypothetical encounter, and drawing real-world parallels. Each scenario is loaded with data: chapters describe why King Kong’s size makes him a mathematical impossibility (the square-cube law!), while the mechanics of bodily decomposition might have made people a few centuries ago inclined to believe in vampires. Beccia’s tone is accessibly irreverent, and the saucy cartoon illustrations are packed with hilarious dialogue asides, comparative size charts, and diagrams with helpful tips galore. Even the sillier segments have practical applications—the advice on what to do when a werewolf attacks can also be used for dogs—and the secondary resources are extensive. A fantastically researched, absolutely delectable approach to science education.
Pluto Gets the Call. By Adam Rex. Illus. by Laurie Keller. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781534414532). K–Gr. 3.
Poor Pluto is reeling from the phone call telling him he’s no longer a planet. Heartbroken, he nevertheless graciously continues his informative tour of the solar system, explaining to readers about his own location in the Kuiper Belt, Uranus’ sideways alignment, Saturn’s amazing rings, and Mars’ collection of robots, among other details. Throughout the tour, the planets engage in witty repartee: Jupiter resents being called gassy; the rocks and comets in the asteroid belt don’t like being termed garbage; and Earth (home to those mean scientists) is miffed to be skipped entirely. Still, everyone is sensitive to Pluto’s downgraded status, especially the Sun, who helps Pluto realize he is still loved. Told entirely in speech balloons, this is a hybrid fiction-nonfiction title that works. Solar system facts are easily distinguishable from the entertaining chatter, and the anthropomorphized planets are memorable.
The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs. By Gail Jarrow. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $18.99 (9781629794389). Gr. 5–8.
Jarrow unleashes the Poison Squad as part of her fascinating, stomach-churning account of Harvey Washington Wiley’s crusade for food safety standards and regulation in the U.S. Trained in medicine and chemistry, Wiley was passionate about understanding the effects of altered or enhanced food products and medicines on human consumers. As the chief chemist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chemistry Division, he spearheaded the pure-food movement, which fought for a law to keep food and medicine safe and to require ingredient labels. Vintage ads, product labels, newspaper headlines, cartoons, and photographs offer a visual feast for readers, who will be so engrossed in the stories of unconscionable products and unwitting victims that they won’t realize they’re imbibing a powerful lesson in food safety and the evolution of today’s FDA. Extensive source notes and resources are icing on the cake.
A Stone Sat Still. By Brendan Wenzel. Illus. by the author. Chronicle, $17.99 (9781452173184). PreS–Gr. 2.
Wenzel goes big by going small in this compelling contemplation of infinity via life’s little moments. Each spread observes the same small boulder, impressionistically depicted through a specific animal’s perspective. Wenzel’s familiar mixed-media style is sometimes placid and picturesque; other times, it’s active and intense; but it always holds to the purposes of poetry, tone, and science. Every image offers interaction, whether through interpretation of the animal’s relationship to the stone or through revelation of the secrets hidden within the layered artwork. Periodically, a visual refrain returns us to a snail that makes its way, bit by bit, over the stone. For it, “the stone was an age,” and as the book progresses, the passage of time brings steadily rising waters, eventually submerging the stone. Yet on the ocean floor, where the stone still sits, another snail begins its journey.
When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex. By Toni Buzzeo. Illus. by Diana Sudyka. Abrams, $17.99 (9781419731631). Gr. 1–4.
Buzzeo’s introduction to Sue Hendrickson begins with her as a clever, shy, and curious girl who is very good at finding things. As Sue grows up, these qualities lead her to an exciting “life of discovery” as a marine archaeologist and field paleontologist. While digging in South Dakota, Sue makes her most famous discovery: the biggest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found, which is lovingly named Sue. Buzzeo’s considerable storytelling skills zero in on fascinating details, such as the experience of unearthing fossils, while Sudyka’s entrancing illustrations reflect this attention to detail and the passion Sue brought to her work. Additionally, it’s refreshing to see a profile of a modern female scientist who is respected in her field. An author’s note and resource list round out this top-notch biography.
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