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HOORAY FOR DNA! by Pauline Thompson


How a Bear and a Bug Are a Lot Like Us

by Pauline Thompson ; illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Pub Date: April 25th, 2023
ISBN: 978-0-593-42704-0
Publisher: Knopf

A shoutout to the little molecules that make all of us virtually the same.

Since the DNA common to all life has large identical sections, “We share many features / with all living creatures,” Thompson points out in her often loose-jointed verse. “But there’s one that’s identical, / less point one percentical.” That would be every human: “Less point one percent,” she goes on, “we’re almost exact. / Almost DNA twins. / That’s a DNA fact!” If she sometimes lets enthusiasm get the better of accuracy—no, viruses aren’t generally considered living organisms even though some do contain DNA—her claim that our “shared DNA / makes us all family” is a strong one. Moreover, her comparison of DNA’s molecules to LEGO bricks in both the rhymed portion and the longer prose afterword to explain how DNA’s “chemical bricks” combine and recombine is a clear and effective choice of metaphor for younger audiences. Aside from a spiral border motif, Pizzoli doesn’t show DNA in action, but his cartoon scenes of a racially diverse group of busy children in classroom settings reflect the narrative’s energetic language and flow. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sketchy on the details but delivers a solidly worthy message grounded in biochemical fact.

(enrichment activities, resource lists) (Informational picture book. 6-9)