Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHERE FISH GO IN WINTER by Amy Goldman Koss

WHERE FISH GO IN WINTER

and Other Great Mysteries

By Amy Goldman Koss (Author) , Laura J. Bryant (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8037-2704-6
Publisher: Dial

Fourteen “mysteries” of science are answered with lighthearted but informative rhyming poems in this upper-level easy reader first published in 1988, but freshened with new illustrations. The title poem explains that fish are still there under the ice in winter, with slower swimming, breathing, and heart rates, “And except for occasional / Lake bottom treats, / The whole winter long / The fish hardly eats.” Other poems explain why popcorn pops, how birds fly, how cats purr, why leaves change colors, and why we see a man in the moon, among other mysteries. It’s quite a feat to clarify scientific concepts succinctly for young children, but even more difficult to explain things in rhyme with a dash of humor, and Koss (Stolen Words, 2001, etc.) handles the challenge well. Several of the poems present information that will be intriguing to kids (and news to most adults): snakes shed the clear skin over their eyes along with the rest of their skin, and spiders don’t stick to their own webs because they know which strands are dry and which are sticky. The illustrations add to the humorous flair of the poetry, with buggy-eyed fish, cuddly cats, and a mysterious man in the moon. This collection will be a welcome addition to any easy-reader collection or to the classroom science shelves, and teachers will find the individual poems useful for adding a literature component to science class. (Easy reader. 6-9)