From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K–Each spread illustrates activities above and below ground in specific locales: a house and its cellar, a stage, a picnic spot, the Antarctic, a jungle, a city street, a desert, a vegetable garden, two boats, a golf course, and a suburban street. The colorful, computer-generated pictures are elaborate and interesting. Most of the below-ground scenes are fairly plausible, but others include animals playing cards, reading, etc. The one beneath the golf course humorously shows gophers using machinelike contraptions to recycle golf balls. The scenes are separated by rhyming couplets. Unfamiliar words such as performing, crew, unaware, and conceals offer good teaching moments. Children will want to pore over the details and think about the many activities depicted in the art. Pair this title with Arlene Mosel's The Funny Little Woman
(Puffin, 1993) for another amusing depiction of what goes on above and below ground.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
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PreS. In this debut picture book, whimsical, computer-generated pictures juxtapose active worlds, above and below ground. The simple, rhyming text introduces the scenarios: "While actors on stage are performing a play, the crew down below is working away." The full-page spreads, split horizontally in two, show different scenes: rooms filled with family activity above a quiet basement; hikers in a hot desert above spelunkers in a cool cave. Some of the most fanciful scenes include animals: golfers fret on the course above an underground factory where gophers collect and polish balls. A few spreads focus on water, and the contrasts in mood are stark: while sailors toss on a stormy sea above, "under the waves, it's as calm as can be." Children will return again and again to find new objects in the bright, clean-lined artwork, and an ant and worm tucked into each spread offer an added seek-and-find game. Guaranteed fun for interactive, one-on-one read-alouds. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved