Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gravity by Jason Chin

by Jason Chin
Format: hardback
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Copyright: 2014
Published: April 29, 2014
Pages: 32
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
Source: library

Summary from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillian:
What keeps objects from floating out of your hand?
What if your feet drifted away from the ground?
What stops everything from floating into space?
As in his previous books, Redwoods, Coral Reefs, and Island, Jason Chin has taken a complex subject and made it brilliantly accessible to young readers in this unusual, innovative, and very beautiful book.

Well, we hit our first disappointment in our nonfiction Cybils reading odyssey. My daughter loves space - she has a dozen space books, a little astronaut hanging from her backpack, and last year for show and tell, she didn't bring in a toy - no, she painted and built a Styrofoam model of the solar system. All things space are currently one of her obsessions.

We loved Redwoods by Jason Chin so when I saw Gravity, I thought that this would be a winner with my daughter. I just read it to her last night and she said, "I don't think I like this book."  She wasn't able to explain why, she is just six after all, but her disappointment was quite sincere. We ended up reading a couple of Elephant and Piggie books afterwards to cheer her up.

The illustrations are beautiful, intricate and everything that I have come to expect from Jason Chin ...

My daughter did see the jokes in the illustrations (though she thought that the little girl should put down the banana and pick up the astronaut and book instead) and spent time looking at everything, especially the last couple of pages - More About Gravity - where she worked to interpret each illustration before I was allowed to read. But in the end, as I report, she wasn't happy with the book.

It isn't the spareness of the text - she loves Viva Frida and has already read that book over again a few more times. I really am not sure.

For my part, I think that Gravity is a lovely book for preschoolers. You might even be able to sneak it into kindergarten, but the age range being listed here is seriously off. Don't make the mistake of wandering into a second grade classroom with this book - it isn't gonna fly. And I too finished the book wanting something a bit more somehow. 

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