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My Light Hardcover – March 1, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5-Bang has chosen a huge topic, and in some ways, it overwhelms her. Writing in the voice of the sun, the first-person narrative investigates various forms of energy on Earth, all derived in one way or another from the light and heat of this solar system's major star. It's an enormous task-how to describe the weather cycle, dams, turbines, electricity and its generation, windmills, fossil fuels (she mentions coal but leaves out oil), and solar cells in an illustrated book for fairly young children-and Bang is only moderately successful. Indeed, in the introduction to four pages of much denser end matter, the author mentions that her notes started turning into an encyclopedia, but, mercifully, an editor "cut them WAY back. Now those notes are on my Web site at www.mollybang.com, and I hope interested readers will do further research on their own." Overall, the author makes a valiant stab, and for science-minded children who can absorb a large amount of information, this title could be an interesting selection. Her stunning and technically accomplished illustrations, as always, are radiant and worth a look. Despite its shortcomings, this ambitious book is an illuminating auxiliary purchase.-Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 1-3. A typical science text for kids might define light as "shifting electromagnetic fields." In Bang's outstanding new picture-book exploration of light and energy, electromagnetism is mentioned only in the endnote, and the accessible text, narrated by the sun ("I am your sun, a golden star. You see my radiance as light"), will be far more meaningful for children than one with stock definitions. Bang focuses on four scenarios in which the generation of electricity can be traced back to the sun: a hydroelectric dam, wind turbines, a coal-burning plant, and solar cells. Making the connection between light, water, wind, and electricity requires a conceptual leap, but tiny yellow dots representing the sun's power as it streams from one form to another will help children grasp the principle of energy conservation. Bang's strong design sense comes through in compositions that gracefully incorporate diagrams and strike a balance between graphic forms and delicate, decorative patterns. Particularly notable is a jungle landscape reminiscent of Rousseau that will delight kids with its individually rendered, jewel-like foliage. Careful endnotes, not final in the version reviewed, touch on everything from dark matter to atoms to pollution. A lovely and illuminating book that presents sound science while expressing the wonder of flipping a switch and flooding a room with light. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 043948961X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439489614
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you ever want to freak a kid out (or, in more professional terms, cause a kid to think in a constructive manner) ask them to consider what life would be like without electricity. After some considerations of this awful possibility the child you speak to may have a newfound appreciation for something he or she has always taken for granted before. But where does electricity really come from? How is it made? Author/illustrator Molly Bang has made a graceful departure from her adorable fiction based picture books into that nebulous territory known as non-fiction. "My Light" shows the myriad ways in which our own dear Sun has created (either directly or indirectly) the energy we use in our very light bulbs.

Says the Sun at the beginning of the book, "When you see the city lights at night, they look like stars have fallen down to earth". That, the sun points out, is a pretty smart assessment. After all, the Sun is a star and almost all the electric light in the world began with it. To explain how this works we are privy to various displays of energy, transferred to earth in multiple ways. One section discusses how the sun causes water to evaporate, rain, fall into rivers, and eventually operate the dams that create energy via generators. Too complex an idea? What about the fact that the sun causes warm air to rise so that cooler air operates the giant electric turbines of the world? And don't forget that coal was once living trees that needed the sun for their growth. Heck, solar power itself is explored in this book too, giving kids a clear vision of solar cells. Tying together the theme of continually shifting energy, the book ends by pointing out that all light, even electric ones, eventually fade back into space in some way.
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Format: Hardcover
The illustrations are artistic and beautiful. My four year old loves to trace the flow of electricity from its generation to its use, and my two year old likes the pictures. The book may have simplified some scientific principles; nonetheless, it is educational and interesting. It has opened up some discussions about our family's use of energy -not bad for a children's book! For older readers, there is a good afterward which goes into more detail.
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Format: Hardcover
Haven spoken with Molly Bang at a conference about MY LIGHT, I am familiar with her passion for the subject matter of this book. That passion has paid off, for MY LIGHT is the best overview to energy technologies in print today for elementary and middle school students. Accompanied by vivid and expansive illustrations that each cover a full two page spread, Molly Bang provides logical and understandable progressions linking solar radiation to hydro, wind, fossil fuels, and solar electric production. Four pages of more detailed information, linking to each of the spreads, is provided at the end.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gives a clear understanding of energy. It shows energy being stored, converted and used. The illustrations and verbal presentation are simple enough for a young child, yet interesting to an adult who generally thinks little about where the energy we use comes from (me!).
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Format: Hardcover
I have always found science to be a poetic subject as well as a way of organizing our knowledge of the universe, and Molly Bang obviously feels the same way. This is one of the most gorgeous books I've ever seen, bringing a spirit of poetry and even majesty to the science of sunlight. Ms. Bang takes on a mighty task in a mere 32 pages, but then, there is a dearth of science writing for children that communicates knowledge in broad strokes. As a teacher, I know the school system tends to teach little bits and pieces of information, assuming students will be able to connect those scraps of knowledge as they go along. Instead, many children continue to carry the bits and pieces around in a loose jangle, like change in the pockets of their jeans. I hope more science-minded writers and illustrators will assist young readers in giving seemingly disparate ideas a context. They'll be hard-pressed to do it as beautifully as Molly Bang does in My Light.
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By Robert P. on December 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
nice book but a section of the binding fell apart on opening
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