From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3-In 14 poems of 3 to 7 quatrains, Koss attempts simple explanations of natural phenomena ("Why do leaves change colors?"; "How do cats purr?"; "How do birds fly?"; "What is the Man in the Moon?"). While the questions will hold appeal for newly independent readers, the author's emphasis on end rhyme often pulls attention away from the poem's content and results in a cursory explanation rather than the sort of detailed description that would satisfy a young audience. Some of the vocabulary is too sophisticated for the intended age group. ("Gravity sensors/Within each young root/Teach it to follow/A straight downward route.") Attractive, brightly colored two-page paintings show the subject of the poem in its natural setting. Oddly, all of the people, animals, plants, and natural objects inside are softly detailed realistic/impressionist, but the pictures for the fish featured on the cover and in the title poem are cartoons. While a few of the poems do work, most lack both informational and poetic quality.Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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PreS-Gr. 2. It's hard to explain such things as how a cat purrs and why onions make people cry in straightforward easy-reader language, but Koss manages to pull it off--in rhyme. And not just singsongy doggerel (although there is a rather repetitious rhyme scheme). The text does quite well at painting vivid word pictures: "Their belly muscles flutter / When people pet their coats. / The flutters send small puffs of air / Up to the kitties' throats." Other topics covered include why popcorn pops, why spiders stick to their own webs, and why islands float. The richly colored illustrations are very nice; no slapdash quality to the art here. This entry in the Dial Easy-to-Read series will be fun to read alone and will work well in the classroom. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved