Hello Earth!: Poems to Our Planet by Joyce Sidman

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Hello Earth!: Poems to Our Planet by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora (9780802855282)

In poems that speak directly to Earth, the planet, herself, this collection of poems explores a variety of scientific concepts. The poems speak to the wonder of walking on the earth’s surface, of trying to imagine its actual size. They look back in time to the dinosaurs, to volcanoes and earthquakes and the continents themselves. Poems explore the various ecosystems on earth from jungles to mountains to deserts. They look deep into the water of the planet and the creatures who dwell there. Then the text circles around to our own role as humans in caring for the earth and making sure it stays well for millennium to come.

As always, Sidman’s poems are both accessible for young readers but also expansive, asking us to look beyond the surface of the subject to the wonders within. In the poems in this book, her innate curiosity about the subject is infectious, giving space for young minds to dream and consider how they feel and think about the subjects Sidman writes about. The final pages of the book offer more information about the earth as well as resources to explore and ways to take action to save the planet.

The illustrations are mostly landscapes, sharing volcano eruptions, storms, wind and quiet moments on small islands. The horizons often line up as the pages turn, offering a feeling of continuity from one natural wonder to the next even if they are far apart on the planet. Beautifully painted, the images are joyous celebrations of our world.

A great poetry collection that invites exploration. Appropriate for ages 6-10.

Reviewed from copy provided by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

What Are Little Girls Made Of? by Jeanne Willis

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What Are Little Girls Made Of? by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Isabelle Follath (9781536217339)

This book of refreshed feminist nursery rhymes takes the classics and turns them into rhymes that inspire all children to not follow gender norms. Little Baby Bunting’s mother heads out to find a job so they can pay for college. Georgie Porgie is taught a lesson on consent. Jill repairs Jack’s scooter so he can keep going down the hill. Girls welcome spiders to their gardens and picnics. Throughout the book, girls and women appear as doctors, mechanics, and scientists. They are invariably confident and in control of situations. These rhymes are a far cry from the originals and long overdue.

Willis takes clever aim at each of these familiar nursery rhymes. She keeps their structure and rhymes in place for the most part, inserting the feminist twist without losing the connection to the original. Some of the rhymes change just a little while other become almost entirely new. This makes for interesting reading as one realizes how sexist and outdated the originals truly are.

Follath’s illustrations fill the pages with strong women and girls of all races. As written in the rhymes, the girls get messy, get wet, insist on being treated properly, and in general take charge of the pages. This is done with a merry sense of humor in the illustrations, ensuring that the tone remains light.

A great book for little feminists of all genders. Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Nosy Crow.