I KNOW WHERE MY FOOD GOES

Through cozy conversation, just as they are about to devour pizza for lunch, Sam and his mother unravel the process of digestion in this entry in the Sam’s Science series. Sam is childishly unscientific, but knows all about saliva and chewing and the tube that runs from his mouth to his stomach; with a little help from his mother, he covers such hard parts as the oesophagus and intestines. The plot line has an eager Sam reporting what he knows, involving much chewing and chomping, squishing and glopping, while his mother expands the discussion with clear explanations of bodily functions. A few Briticisms crop up, to no ill effect, and, while the measurements used are metric, they are defined in context. McEwen’s clean-lined cartoons use the colors of a Crayola box, from school-bus yellow to tangerine orange. The typeface resembles a child’s careful printing, underscoring the levity of Sam’s responses and observations. He and his mother provide science at its simplest, with no small dash of fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7636-0505-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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FLETCHER AND THE FALLING LEAVES

Fletcher is a young fox concerned about his favorite tree. “I think my tree is sick,” he tells his mother, in reference to its brown leaves. His mother tells him not worry, that it’s only autumn. Comforted, Fletcher pats his tree and reassures it. But as leaves begin to fall, Fletcher’s worry increases, and he vows to collect all of the leaves and reaffix them. Despite his best efforts—he even tries to keep other animals from removing the leaves—Fletcher awakes one morning to find that the tree is bare, save one leaf that he brings home for safekeeping. When Fletcher next returns to visit the tree, he is met with a glorious sight: Glittering icicles adorn it. Awed, Fletcher asks if the tree is all right, and a breeze softly shakes its branches, causing them to nod and emit soft laughter. Softly glowing illustrations, evocative and full of depth, are perfectly matched with the warm and lyrical text. A poetic tribute to winter and fall, Fletcher’s story is sure to resonate with young readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-113401-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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UNDER THE SNOW

A snow-covered countryside may look barren of life, but Stewart’s quiet text takes readers under the blanket of white to “a hidden world” where ladybugs sleep en masse and voles tunnel from tree to tree, where a wood frog freezes safely solid and bluegills and waterboatmen share frigid waters, where a turtle lies buried in mud and “even on the coldest winter days, red-spotted newts dodge and dart, whiz and whirl just below the ice.” Bergum’s equally quiet watercolors spread across the pages in panels that offer cross-sections and magnified details to give readers glimpses of the world beneath the snow. Their precision lends a dignity and beauty even to a sleeping centipede and a barbeled carp. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the adaptability and endurance of the animal world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56145-493-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2009

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