What a Cool Place to Be


On Earth by G. Brian Karas (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005) is a wonderful book to show your young reader the vastness of their home, planet earth, in space. I like this book because it could be used for an introductory science lesson on seasons and movements of the earth and sun, but it also makes for a book parents can share with younger readers because of its easy to grasp illustrations and simple text. Starting with, “On earth we go for a giant ride in space, spinning like a merry-go-round,” Karas explains how the earth is tilted, why we have day and night, how the tilt causes our seasons and how months and years go by, all in kid-friendly illustrations. We are meant to pause and dwell over many of the pages in order to fully grasp the science. These pages are balanced with other pages that only need a brief pause to harness a sensory detail such as the warmth and light of the sun, but that promote a caring for this special planet that is our home, and produce a nice pace to the reading experience.

This book lends itself to rereading since the science concepts are new to young readers, and not necessarily easy to grasp quickly. The bold, yet simple illustrations will help; I love the scenes of beds or beaches taking up a quarter to a half of the globe and suspect kids will too. And as your child ponders the pages, you too should stop and share. You might catch a distant memory of your early awareness and awe of living on our special planet. I found myself reflecting on my many journeys around the sun, and hope you will too.

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