Ever wonder what the Earth looks like from space? This highly unusual and scientific alphabet book will intrigue those sky gazers who see shapes in the clouds.
A beginning “Note to Parents and Teachers” provides an explanation for the idea for the book that led to the search for alphabet letters in satellite images of Earth: “A few years ago, I noticed a cloud of smoke over Canada that had the shape of a V.” The full-page photos bleed off the page without any text, amplifying the drama of the visuals. A sandbar acts as the back of the D of Morocco’s Marchica Lagoon; Y is formed by the convergence of the Tigris and Great Zab rivers in Iraq. Some images are more distinct than others, ranging from swirls of color to squiggly lines, making discovery part of the process for readers. The author is a science writer for a NASA website, providing credibility. A five-page legend in the back cites the locations photographed and dates when the photos were taken. Backmatter has a two-page map that locates each of the letters, FAQs on both images and science, and a glossary. Similar in concept, ABC: The Alphabet from the Sky, by Benedikt Gross and Joey Lee (2016), is more accessible to young readers learning their alphabet.
Definitely not your usual ABC book, this sophisticated approach will best appeal to science teachers and scientifically minded children. (Informational picture book. 6-10)