Joulia Copernicus, a young scientist in a white lab coat and safety goggles, returns to help readers learn why seasons exist.
In the jaunty first-person narration readers will remember from series opener It’s a Round, Round World! (2019), Joulia tells why many think the Earth has seasons: its orbit around the sun and its rotation. She demonstrates why these theories are incorrect and then introduces the answer: the role of Earth’s tilt. The logical structure starts with misconceptions and moves toward understanding, but it is the full-color illustrations, bristling with fun details pertaining to the seasons and anthropomorphic planetary bodies, that make this book stand out. Joulia’s obvious enthusiasm, accessible language, and the use of sequential visual formats actively involve kids in thinking about scientific concepts. The last page explains how Johannes Kepler’s discovery about 400 years ago regarding the Earth’s path has led to some of our confusion and also gives instructions for a simple experiment. Joulia presents white, as do the two other humans depicted. While other, diverse characters would be welcome, it’s good to see a capable girl excited about science. The seasons are those readers in the northern U.S. will recognize, although Joulia explains how variations occur near the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere.
A breezy, information-packed, visually attractive explanation of an important elementary school science topic. (Informational picture book. 6-8)