Something About the Sky

Candlewick. Mar. 2024. 56p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781536228700.
Gr 2-5–Carson is, perhaps, one of the most revered nature writers; here, her lyrical words about the sky are beautifully rendered for a young audience by McClure’s pictorial interpretation. McClure, an award-winning papercut artist, uses sumo ink, black paper, and cuts to ground Carson’s words in a reality children can recognize. Initially, readers are introduced to the sky and clouds, what Carson refers to as, “the writing of the wind” on the sky; they are a common backdrop for those who live in cities, but essential for those who work with nature. A stunning extended metaphor is employed to convey how the sky works. Carson explains how “the world has two oceans” and describes currents and life in the sea. Besides the “ocean of water” there is one of air, and wind currents are waves. Types of clouds, turbulence, the water cycle, and hurricanes are briefly mentioned, but the overwhelming cyclical message of nature and humanity is paramount. Dominant colors of black, white, and rich blues fill the spreads, with other colors added to emphasize scenes, say, of sunsets, leaving white rectangular space for text. An illustrator’s note explains the artistic process and provides information about the source documentation for the text. This work has the potential for cross-curricula study beyond elementary grades and fosters project-based learning rooted in conservation.
VERDICT Although designed for young readers, this will appeal to older audiences and is a stellar first purchase for all libraries.

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