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RIVERS OF SUNLIGHT by Molly Bang Kirkus Star


How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth

From the Sunlight series

by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm ; illustrated by Molly Bang

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-545-80541-4
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

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)