Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel


    Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel, Beach Lane, 2017. 9781481451628

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Preschoolers now have a prompt for pondering their existence, in this lovely book which celebrates life in the natural world. Through the eyes of animals large and small, the reader thinks about what life is for. Simple spare text and incredibly appealing mixed media illustrations depict scenes of animals contemplating and living in nature, in which a young reader can imagine themself. Although there are no images of humans, the animals have Wenzel’s signature eyes, which seems to gaze into the reader’s soul. Also, they are incredibly cute! I can imagine this book as an animal seek-and-find, and as a concept book on large and small, young and old – “because life begins small, and grows.” I appreciate that the book is general enough to appeal to families of any religious or political persuasion.

To whom would you recommend this book?  A parent or teacher who wants to have a conversation about growing and living in the world will enjoy this.

Who should buy this book? Day cares, elementary schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: January 1, 2018

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