Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin

9781596437173 300x233 Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin

Gravity
By Jason Chin

Roaring Brook Pres (Macmillan)

ISBN: 9781596437173
$16.99
Grades K-3
In Stores April 29, 2014

nonfictionmonday Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

Pet peeve time. Often when people talk about low-level nonfiction, they don’t mean really low. Sorry K-1 crowd. Although the field is getting better all the time, it can still be difficult to find stuff for this young audience that truly stands out. With Gravity, Jason Chin (author of 2012 favorite Island) gets low to help explain a force that effects us all.

GRAVITY

MAKES OBJECTS

FALL

TO EARTH

What is gravity? What does it do? What would happen if it didn’t exist? Big, bold statements (in all caps) are set to images that skillfully illuminate the text. The perspective shifts from the effects of gravity on earth to the heavens – how it keeps planets orbiting the sun and keeps the moon from floating away – before coming back to earth, finishing the book as it began.

I tell ya – one smart decision after another here. The spare text is expertly placed (and sized), drawing the reader’s eye in ways that encourage understanding. And Chin could have used any old objects to illustrate how gravity works, but he chose items familiar to a child – sand toys, a rocket ship, an action figure, and (meta alert) a picture book about gravity. Back matter includes a section with additional facts and a bibliography.

9781596437173 il 1 500x193 Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin

The illustrations are full of cinematic appeal (I should mention here the strange coincidence of this book arriving less than a year after the Oscar-nominated film by the same name). The short and wide trim size adds to the widescreen effect, as Chin uses pools of outer-space black in contrast with the fiery sun and blue earth across numerous two-page spreads.

9781596437173 il 2 500x193 Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin

It’s a book that will really work for the lower elementary set – no small feat. It isn’t often I say this often, but with a topic is so universal, and a treatment so beautifully efficient it’s just a fact: this book should be in every library collection.

Review copy from the publisher.

share save 171 16 Nonfiction Monday: Gravity by Jason Chin
About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. I just recently read all of his previous books–can’t wait to see this one. I love very young nonfiction…

Speak Your Mind

*