A highly respected, well known author has fallen far below her usual level of quality in this rather ordinary nature book for the very young. The explanations are clear and move at a slow enough pace for a child to grasp, but they lack a much needed spark that has not generally been missing from previous Selsam titles. Moving from the stories of rain and soil to glimpses of growing plants and animals, the author ends with a short view of a child growing. The illustrations, executed with a heavy hand, exhibit an unpleasing, outlined rigidity. They are poorly placed: some full page illustrations bleed directly into those on facing pages; no breathing spaces have been left between drawings that bear little relationshiip to each other. Not the worst in print on this subject, but far less than the best.