The scientific principles of light and reflection are often studied in first-grade classrooms, and any first-grade teacher will tell you it’s not always easy to convey such complex ideas to six-year-olds. Cobb (I Get Wet, above, etc.) explains the introductory ideas about the way light impacts sight and reflection, managing to make her text interesting and informative for both children and adults. Gorton’s jazzy illustrations focus on a redheaded girl who carries out the simple hands-on activities and experiments described in the text, using a hand mirror, a flashlight, and a ball. The computer-generated art features large, simple layouts that will work well with a group and unusual treatments with the text in size and placement that augment the ideas being explained. The simple experiments are designed for parents to do at home with children as the volume is read, but classroom teachers in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade will also use this in science lessons. Cobb’s extensive experience in science education is reflected in this illuminating work that sheds light on some sophisticated scientific principles. (author’s note) (Nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-688-17836-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A young bear observing his first autumn is captivated by the leaves as they change color from golden to amber. His exuberance and wonder change to worry and consternation when he is unable to replace the first leaf and those that follow to the bare branches. Instinct overtakes him as he gathers a paw full of leaves, finds and fills a hole and burrows in for the winter. When he awakens the following spring, he observes, to his relief, that the leaves have returned to the branches. Seasonal change and animal behavior are simply and freshly conveyed through a young child’s perspective with single-phrase captions and direct, vibrant watercolor illustrations. Bowed, listless branches echo little bear’s down-turned curved shoulders and eyes as he gives up his battle to replace the fallen leaves. Stein does not tread on ground where others often do in over explaining a complex concept. He understands and honors the young, curious mind and allows readers to share the joy of a discovery in text and illustration. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-24636-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

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