A handsome invitation to earth science.



From the Sunlight series

The way that the warmth of our sun creates the ebb and flow of water among Earth, its atmosphere, its oceans, and land is the subject of this latest edition to Chisholm and Bang’s gorgeous series.

“I am your sun,” begins the narrative, conversationally. Bang’s brightly hued, edge-to-edge illustrations immerse the audience in the story she and Chisholm tell. The collaborators offer a kind of thrill about the workings of the water cycle from evaporation to rain, the “flying river” of water in layers of atmosphere, and the amazing current (the “great Ocean Conveyer Belt”) that flows below and near the surface of the oceans and affects every continent. A young person with brown skin and black hair appears throughout, representing both individual readers and humankind on our planet. The pairing of uncomplicated text and lavish illustration feels expansive, conveying amazement and awe through clear, yet poetic, visual explanations. The lack of a definition for “photosynthesized” seems to be the only outlier in the impressively accessible scientific presentation. Final pages mention water’s power to carve land and rock, human uses of dams and aqueducts, and the challenges of drought and flood in a warming world. The sun concludes its narrative with a promise to keep Earth’s water flowing and a request to readers to “use water sparingly and keep it clean.”

A handsome invitation to earth science. (notes) (Nonfiction. 4-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-80541-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.


A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This effort gives partial information where children could have handled the full picture. Look to Julie Hannah and Joan...


Though Gibbons includes lots of facts about rain in her latest, some flaws limit its usefulness.

The explanation of the water cycle, though basic, is solid and accessible for children: “As the water vapor moves higher into the sky, the air becomes cooler and cooler. Water vapor soon turns into millions of water droplets. This is called condensation.” Gibbons then goes on to describe the types of rain clouds. Unfortunately, her trademark watercolor-illustration style does not differentiate these enough, nor does the text, to make this knowledge applicable. She next tackles the different ways rain falls: drizzle, shower, rain, rainstorm, thunderstorm, flash flood. While the bit about thunder and lightning may soothe nerves about this typical childhood fear, introducing the threat of broken windows and falling tree limbs from other storms may offset this. The final few pages address storm cleanup, acid rain, cleaner energy sources and the possibility of a rainbow. How this latter forms is left to the backmatter, whose many facts should have been supplied in the text itself, including tips on staying dry and safe and a list of supplies to have on hand in case of a storm. As in her other titles, text within the illustrations gives further information and/or defines vocabulary words.

This effort gives partial information where children could have handled the full picture. Look to Julie Hannah and Joan Holub’s The Man Who Named the Clouds, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (2006), instead. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2924-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet