Books by Talia Weiss

SUN by Francesca Grazzini
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

This entry and three others in the I Want to Know series simplify concepts in science and nature for the very young. Comparable in scope to Let's-Read-and-Find-Out titles, each book covers topics such as how the earth moves around the sun, what makes day and night, seasons, gravity, weather, cloud formation, and flower pollination. In a twist on the question-and-answer format, a central animal character, rather than child, asks questions in a conversational style. ``Are you really a star?'' a snail asks in Sun; ``Why am I all covered with dust?'' a bee asks in Flower (ISBN 0-916291-70-7). Sun and Wind (0-916291-67-7) are the more informative and successful books in the set. Rain (0- 916291-68-5) is unfocused and segues into frogs and deserts on its way to explaining the water cycle while Flower awkwardly tackles the complex process of pollination. A poem is plopped in the heart of each book, detracting from the science presented and serving as filler rather than bridging the gap between fiction and nonfiction. Matching games and spot-the-difference activities may engage the youngest audience and peripherally support the concepts outlined. The color, design, and layout are the strengths of the series. Stylized collage cutouts are expressive without being cartoonish, and are friendly yet instructional. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6) Read full book review >