Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life

Spring 2009 Non-Fiction
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Penny Chisholm
Author: Molly Bang
Illustrator: Molly Bang
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 0545044227
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Children often have an innate interest in the natural world, but sometimes science books can be a bit dry and lessen rather than reinforce the magnificence of our planet. Living Sunlight is a lovely fusion of science and poetic language, a wonderful collaboration between an author-illustrator (Molly Bang) and an MIT professor (Penny Chisholm) that sacrifices neither accuracy nor style. The book focuses on photosynthesis and its critical role in sustaining all life, but it uses an elegant first person point of view from the sun’s perspective: “Lay your hand over your heart, and feel. . . . That is my light, alive inside of you. I am your sun, your golden star. I burn.” Bang and Chisholm manage to make poetry even out of chlorophyll and carbon dioxide, using facts and imagery to tell the story. Bang’s gorgeous, partly pointillist illustrations bring the book to life even more, whether she’s painting the diversity of all life or a single green leaf.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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