underground

Underground by Denise Fleming

Explore the wonders of what happens underground in a garden with this picture book from the Caldecott Honor medalist, Denise Fleming.  This book takes the joys of digging in the dirt one step farther, offering a simple poem that invites children to explore and then illustrations that show a cross section that reveals all of the action happening below the surface.  Roots grow, moles and chipmunks make tunnels, a turtle lays her eggs, worms are pulled by a robin. 

Fleming’s simple poetry makes this a great option for small toddlers, those same ones with the dirty hands from digging in the dirt.  She then takes her signature pulp-paper collage and brings life to the book.  The pulp paper offers a texture and richness that is specific to that medium.  It is bright, deeply colored, and has a dimension that is remarkable.  Here the use of it to build that rich underground world is ideal.  The illustrations are large enough to use with a group, but detailed enough that there is plenty to explore up close.

Turn to the back pages for more details about the animals shown in the illustrations.  Ideal to read in the garden with a pail and shovel nearby for immediate exploring.  It will also make a great addition for any spring-themed units or story times.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from library copy.