BENEATH THE SUN by Melissa Stewart


Age Range: 3 - 8
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An engaging peek into how various creatures cope with the hottest of days.

Writing simply but informatively, Stewart takes readers through four different environments—a field, a desert, a wetland and a seashore—showing how some of the inhabitants of each cope during the hottest days of the year. Forging a connection with readers, the book begins by showing children in a suburban environment playing in the sprinkler and sipping lemonade. With a page turn, Stewart introduces the next environment, a field, and how some of its inhabitants—a woodchuck, an earthworm, a spittlebug and a caterpillar—cope with the heat. By including the children in the suburb, Stewart positions humans as simply one species of the many that inhabit the Earth—a notable and appropriate perspective. Bergum’s pleasing, realistic watercolor illustrations include front endpapers that show the sunrise and rear endpapers that mirror them with dusk. The suggestion that the story takes place within the time frame of one day encloses it within comfortable confines familiar to all readers—another element that connects children to the subject. The framing of illustrations within the double-page spreads gives readers a sense of spatiality within the environment depicted.

A well-designed, well-written book that offers readers a greater awareness of and sense of relationship to the other inhabitants in their environments. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-56145-733-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Peachtree
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2014


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