Friday, February 6, 2015

GRAVITY - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

     I look forward to Friday when I have a great book to recommend! TGI Perfect Picture Book Friday. 
     Today's recommendation--
TITLE: GRAVITY

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Jason Chin
Publisher: Roaring Book Press, 2014
Intended Age: K-3
Themes: Science
Opening lines: The author takes three lush double-spreads to tell us:

     GRAVITY MAKES 
     OBJECTS 
     FALL TO EARTH.

Synopsis: The difficult concept of gravity is explained in simple terms with playful illustrations. What would happen if there was no gravity?

What I like about this book: I love science. And I think kids want to understand the world around them. This book does that with humor and color and makes you stop for a minute and think about one of the basic forces that govern our world. The actual theories are mind-blowing in complexity but the tongue-in-cheek illustrations make the basic information fun, and suitable for the youngest in the intended age group. Back matter explains the concepts in more depth. Last week the Center for Children's Books at the University of Illinois named Gravity a Gryphon Honor Book!

     There's only one thing I don't totally love. The cover.
     I get that it incorporates playful elements to mirror the tone of the illustrations. And I adore the way the sun peeks around Earth. And the floating astronaut doll (even though I would prefer a non-stylized doll without the clear fishbowl globe helmet). The floating flotsam just doesn't work as well on the cover for me as it does paired with the text. Space monkeys anyone?
     If you're familiar with this book, I'd love to hear your reactions in the comments!

Resources:
  • The curriculum guide covers all of the author's books---so go find them at your library. Island: A Story of the Galapagos is another one of my favorites!
  • Last week I stumbled upon the website "Stir the Wonder" that shares ways for kids to explore the world. Last week's post was on --Gravity! Featuring Jason Chin's new book and several ways to have fun while learning.
  • If it's warm enough where you live, get on a swing set. Talk about why you have to work to go up, but not to come down. Play catch. Have fun.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Thanks again for stopping by!

24 comments:

  1. My husband is currently attending the University of Illinois! Haha! Anyways I read this book to my 3 year old son the other week. I also love picture books about science and exploring the world around us. I just hopped over to that "Stir the Wonder" website and it looks amazing! I will definitely be visiting there again.

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    1. Small world, Heather! Did you son like the book? Three is at the bottom of the age range, but picture books are lumped in bins at my library so who'd know?

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  2. I saw the title and knew this was your choice. Thank you for explaining the cover because I couldn't tell what the symbolism with the picture small. This is a book that I really would enjoy! Science always fascinates me.

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    1. Me, too, Pat! And even though I'm not the intended age, lol, I usually learn a lot from them.

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  3. This looks terrific, Wendy! I love books that make science fun and accessible to kids (and to me :)) And I love that you're so enthusiastic about it - it makes me want to go right out and read it! Thanks so much for sharing this one! :)

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    1. Talking about what gravity DOES, instead of what it IS, makes it wonderfully child friendly. Great for teachers and parents.

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  4. This book DOES look fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. I love science books that are well done. And I love books published by Roaring Book Press, so this is on my TBR list. Thanks for featuring!

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    1. I am a Roaring Book Press fan too, but I like to spread out the love in my recommendations. :)

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  6. Well, this one sounds excellent! Good, fun science books are hard to find for those little tykes!

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    1. Jason Chin has a whole list of great ones to check out.

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  7. This sounds great for kids and big kids!

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    1. That's me, Catherine. A BIG kid. :))

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  8. Roaring Book Press is one of my favorite publishers and I can imagine the great visuals with the sparse but powerful text of the first three spreads. I couldn't quite make out the cover, to be honest.

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    1. Guess I need to improve my photo skills!

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  9. I wasn't that interested in science as a child, so I like the idea that this pb uses humor - to appeal to the kids who need an extra reason to read it. The cover looks amazing, but not much like a pb to me.

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    1. It's true that story makes the science zing for kids who didn't drool over science like me.

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  10. Wow. This one does sound perfect. I think I'll have to hold it to really see the cover. It's late and my eyes are a bit blurry. :)

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    1. I had hoped someone else would have seen the cover! Maybe I'm crazy. The colors are fantastic so what if there's a floating peeled banana.

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  11. I like the idea of telling what gravity does... definitely need to read this book to see how Jason does that. The cover.... seemed a bit too "movie-like" for me. I thought (just from the cover image) this would be a science fiction story!

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    1. I guess I was too hard on the cover. It does pique your interest! Gotta get you to take it off the shelf after all. Thanks for stopping by, Sue!

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  12. Wendy, he talks about the cover here https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/picturebooking-podcast-creating/id886090064?mt=2&i=336318199. Interesting.

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    1. Interesting to hear from the illustrator's mouth!

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