From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–A simple poetic text describes the Earth's daily and yearly cycles: "At night we turn away from the sun and see a universe of stars and planets while we dream of what we can do tomorrow." The paintings are as simple as the narrative; some show night and day with very large children on small planets (one is sleeping in darkness, the other is fishing in sunlight). Others show the passage of seasons as children go to school, celebrate birthdays, and stand by little trees in their various stages of growth. A few of the pictures go sideways in a manner that demonstrates some concepts very well; for example, gravity is concretely illustrated by figures standing on ground that runs perpendicular to the bottom of the page. Karas's distinctive cartoon figures will be familiar to anyone who knows his work, and his colors are gorgeous, even down to the endpapers (the front endpaper is sky blue and the back one is midnight blue). While this book does not present the information in a step-by-step fashion like Franklyn Branley's Sunshine Makes the Seasons (HarperCollins, 2005), it is just as outstanding in its own way, which is both more sophisticated and more childlike.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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K-Gr. 3. With the same large format and broad perspective used in his picture book Atlantic
(2002), Karas now discusses the orbit, rotation, and tilt of planet Earth. The concepts here are complex, but some children will get the gist of what a year represents, why we have seasons, and what makes day light and night dark. The book begins, "On earth / we go for a giant ride in space, spinning like a merry-go-round," and arrows are used to indicate the spinning of Earth as well as its circuit around the sun. Double-page spreads present the passage of a year and the changing seasons from an astronomical perspective and from a child-size point of view. Many of the individual illustrations are quite striking and even beautiful, and Karas' child-friendly artwork loses none of its charm when seen in this large scale. Indeed, it seems even more original and appealing. In the end, though, the book remains a series of loosely connected, illustrated concepts, rather than a coherent whole. Still, this ambitious nonfiction picture book might be a good place to start small children thinking big. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved