Apart, Together: A Book About Transformation

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063264618.
PreS-Gr 1–A short but sweet exploration of how separate things can come together to make something new, suitable for a wide range of ages. Vibrant illustrations are paired with calming rhymes: “APART, bricks and blocks are bricks and blocks, but TOGETHER/ they soar! APART, players kick a ball, but/ TOGETHER, they score!” Simple science ideas—“Soap and hands and water can become foam” and “Bees and flowers can make honey”—combine with more complex metaphorical ideas such as “Twigs and feathers and love TOGETHER make a home,” with a mother bird and four baby birds on the final spread. There is potential to elicit further discussion about transformation with young elementary children, but the spare text paired with colorful and inviting illustrations make it suitable for a preschool audience as well. The children in the story are diverse in skin tone and gender.
VERDICT A sweet read-aloud for younger readers to help them learn how the individual is part of a greater community; a standout for conveying complex concepts in an accessible format.

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