WHAT IS SCIENCE?

Short rhyming verses give young children an idea of the vast array of topics that scientists study. “What is science? / So many things. / The study of stars / and Saturn’s rings. / The study of rocks, / geodes, and stones, / dinosaur fossils, / and old chipped bones.” Dotlich’s focus is on the natural sciences, with primary attention given to the earth sciences, and to the exclusion of chemistry. While this will no doubt generate enthusiasm for scientific study, an afterword listing the names of the actual disciplines would have been a helpful resource. Yoshikawa’s artwork truly makes science come alive for young readers. Her cartoon characters, weighted in favor of girls, use books, tools, maps and notebooks to learn more about the world around them. Humorous elements and spare use of paper-collage details will keep youngsters engaged in searching the illustrations. A child-friendly introduction to the huge, and sometimes daunting, realm of science. Sure to find a place on many nursery and kindergarten bookshelves. (Picture book/nonfiction. 2-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8050-7394-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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THE CURIOUS GARDEN

Liam, a curious little boy who likes to be outside, lives in a city “without gardens or trees or greenery of any kind.” One day, while exploring an abandoned elevated railbed, he discovers a small patch of weeds and wildflowers. After a little bit of trial and error, Liam nurses his newfound plot into a “restless” garden that explores the length of the railway and, after a dormant winter, begins to find its way into the city below. Brown’s flat, faintly retro graphics make a vigorous accompaniment to his fey text, which personifies the “curious garden” with appealing earnestness. In an author’s note he describes the greening of Manhattan’s abandoned Highline, which inspired this hopeful little paean to the persistence of growing things in the dreariest places. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-01547-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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