Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Beneath the Sun by Melissa Stewart


When the sun is shining brightly, people put on sunscreen or scurry inside to cool off. But how do wild animals react to the sizzling heat? Journey from your neighborhood to a field where an earthworm loops its long body into a ball underground, to a desert where a jackrabbit loses heat through its oversized ears, to a wetland where a siren salamander burrows into the mud to stay cool, and to a seashore where a sea star hides in the shade of a seaweed mat. In simple yet informative language, Beneath the Sun shows young readers how the animals who live there survive the hottest time of the year.


Melissa Stewart is the author of more than one hundred children's books including When Rain Falls, A Place for Butterflies, and A Place for Birds.  She holds degrees from Union College and New York University and has also worked as an editor.  She lives in eastern Massachusetts.


Constance R. Bergum has illustrated several children's books, including When Rain Falls, Dancing with Katya, Daniel and His Walking Stick, and The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins.  She holds an M.F.A. in illustration from Marywood University and lives in Montana.


Beneath the Sun is a beautiful introduction to a common problem and how various living creatures deal with it.  The heat of the sun is a blessing but can also be dangerous.  Stewart reveals to the reader the many ways this problem is addressed.  Humans love to run through sprinklers and drink cool drinks like lemonade. Jackrabbits release heat through their ears, horned lizards hide beneath bushes, and frogs use the warmth to develop from tadpole to adult.  The illustrations are beautiful and add the perfect touch.  I appreciated the focus on one aspect of adaptation since it allows the reader to compare the differences and similarities between the different creatures. I also enjoyed how the story starts with sunrise and moves through various habitats until it reaches sunset, it creates a coherent and understandable story.


Monday 4/14- Jean Little Library and Blue Owl
Tuesday – Geo Librarian
Wednesday- Kid Lit Reviews

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