Day: September 25, 2014

Review: Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey

bluebird

Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey

Bluebird has never flown without the company of her friend, the wind.  She just can’t bring herself to try to fly without the wind’s help, so she sets off on a quest to find the wind before she flies.  There was no wind blowing the seeds off the dandelions, no wind lifting the kite to the sky, no wind rippling the willow leaves.  Heading into the city, Bluebird found that the newspaper pages weren’t being blown by the wind at all and even a balloon was being moved by a child rather than the wind.  Bluebird decided to look higher, but even from above the flags were drooping on the flagpoles and the sailboats were not racing.  Bluebird landed on a roof and wished deeply for her friend to return, and that’s when she noticed that she’d been flying for some time without the wind to help her! 

Yankey’s text captures both the wishing for what the wind does every day and also how things are without the wind blowing.  The contrast between what Bluebird knows the wind does and how things are when they are still is wonderfully written with simplicity and grace.  The entire book has a jaunty brisk pace that will remind readers of a good stiff wind blowing along the pages and moving the story along.

The illustrations in this picture book set it apart.  They are an amazing mix of collage, pencil, ink, block print and paint.  The result is a richness of styles that zing on the page next to one another and create a world that is unique.  Somehow those divergent components form a cohesion feel on the page that is mesmerizing.

A perfect read for a breezy day, this book will invite everyone to find the confidence to fly.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Tiny Creatures by Nicola Davies

tiny creatures

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton

There are tiny creatures all around us that do the most amazing things!  Microbes are too small to be seen by the human eye, but look through a microscope and you enter a world of them.  There are microbes like viruses that cause diseases or colds.  And there are others that are very good for our health and turn milk into yogurt and compost into dirt.  Microbes may be very small but their impact on our world and our lives is very big.  This book shows the huge impact they have and how much we need to appreciate them.

Davies has written very engagingly about microbes in this book.  When talking about something like microbes, the numbers can get too large to understand, but Davies nicely ties these huge numbers to others that make sense.  She shows how quickly a microbe can reproduce using the page of the book.  The entire book is cleverly done, exposing the facts about microbes in a friendly and approachable way.

The illustrations by Sutton show both the microbes and their effect on the world.  The pages with the tiny microbes are fascinating as one gets to see the different types up close.  The illustrations have a friendly charm about them that makes the subject matter even more fun to read.

A great book on microbes, this will encourage children to pick up a microscope and learn even more about these tiny little creatures.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from library copy.