From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–A different version of this poem initially appeared in Lee Bennett Hopkins's Spectacular Science
(S & S, 1999). Dotlich begins and ends with the line, What is science?/So many things. In between, she enumerates some of the areas of study–astronomy, geology, paleontology, oceanography, botany, meteorology, and zoology. Each page has just a few words, in large print, superimposed on a background of boldly colored acrylic, pastel, and collage art. The rhyming text flows nicely, but because some spreads contain only sentence fragments, a quick read-through is necessary to get the full effect of the rhyme and cadence. Pleasingly rounded shapes dominate the paintings, which feature stylized boys and girls of various ethnicities, surrounded by plants and animals, as they observe nature and use books in their research. Many children are attracted to science, but few youngsters realize all that the word encompasses. Although this book leaves out important categories, such as chemistry and mathematics, it does introduce a wide range of subjects. With its large illustrations, simple text, and important concepts, this title will be enjoyed by newly independent readers, or will ignite excitement in a group. A unique look at the topic.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
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This vividly illustrated picture book points out the breadth and variety of subjects that science encompasses as well as some of the questions it addresses: "So into the earth, / and into the sky, / we question the how, / the where, when, / and why." First published in Lee Bennett Hopkin's anthology Spectac
ular Science: A Book of Poems (1999), Dotlich's poem "What Is Science?" works well here as picture-book text--with minor changes and a few added lines. In a series of double-page spreads, Yoshikawa depicts an inquisitive trio of children and their helpful dog engaged in a variety of activities: visiting an oilfield, twirling in a hurricane, flying a spaceship to Saturn, and camping out in the country, to name just a few. The well-composed illustrations, made of acrylics, pastels, and paper collage in glowing colors, use repeated forms to create a sense of visual rhythm that suits the rhyming text well. A nice discussion starter for classrooms beginning science units. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved