From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1. These disappointing books attempt to answer common questions, but readers will be left more confused than informed. The titles follow the same format: a narrative exchange between an animal and the subject of the book. In Flower, a bee says it's a beautiful day to go for a "walk," and a flower mentions that she is "delicious," referring to her nectar. The dialogue is never attributed to either character. Icons are sometimes used to distinguish the speaker (Rain has a drop of water and a frog; Wind has a picture of a breeze with leaves swirling and a little bird); however, this back-and-forth style will go right over the heads of many children. In one double-page spread, readers are asked to match the blossoms on fruit trees to the actual fruits, but the peach and the apricot look alike. To add to the confusion, one of the pages is written in a cursive beeline that is difficult to decipher. While parts of Wind are informative, the writing is unfocused and disorganized, especially when the text skips from naming different types of winds?"nor'easter" and "Santa Ana"?to a discussion of Mary Poppins and the Wizard of Oz. The die-cut cover art may draw readers, but they will be better served by Nancy Carlstrom's What Does the Rain Play? or How Does the Wind Walk? (both S & S, 1993) or David Burnie's Flowers (DK, 1992).?Blair Christolon, Prince William Library, Manassas, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
This entry and three others in the I Want to Know series simplify concepts in science and nature for the very young. Comparable in scope to Let's-Read-and-Find-Out titles, each book covers topics such as how the earth moves around the sun, what makes day and night, seasons, gravity, weather, cloud formation, and flower pollination. In a twist on the question-and-answer format, a central animal character, rather than child, asks questions in a conversational style. ``Are you really a star?'' a snail asks in Sun; ``Why am I all covered with dust?'' a bee asks in Flower (ISBN 0-916291-70-7). Sun and Wind (0-916291-67-7) are the more informative and successful books in the set. Rain (0- 916291-68-5) is unfocused and segues into frogs and deserts on its way to explaining the water cycle while Flower awkwardly tackles the complex process of pollination. A poem is plopped in the heart of each book, detracting from the science presented and serving as filler rather than bridging the gap between fiction and nonfiction. Matching games and spot-the-difference activities may engage the youngest audience and peripherally support the concepts outlined. The color, design, and layout are the strengths of the series. Stylized collage cutouts are expressive without being cartoonish, and are friendly yet instructional. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.