Beneath the Sun – written by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Constance R. Bergum

  Beneath the Sun – written by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Constance R. Bergum, Peachtree, 9781561457335, 2014 (paperback 2020)

Format: Paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Nonfiction 

What did you like about the book? This is a sweet book comparing how different animals react and keep themselves safe from the sun’s heat and light. I like how it begins with how we keep cool (putting on sunscreen, drinking lemonade, playing in a sprinkler) since that will help many children begin to frame the comparisons. I also like how the animals are organized by habitat. We first learn about animals that live in a field, then animals that live in a desert, and then a wetland, etc. The gorgeous illustrations are very detailed, and often very close up on specific animals. They also offer a great perspective for the animals highlighted, at times including a cross-section view underneath the earth.  

Anything you did not like about the book. Backmatter would have made a nice addition to the book, either a glossary of terms, an index to easily find specific animals, a map highlighting different habitats, etc. 

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be an ideal read aloud for a teacher to go along with a science unit about animal adaptations, animal behavior, or habitats. It’s also a fun read for kids who like nonfiction books about animals, or for someone who is looking for a seasonal book for the summer. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians, teachers

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction (591)

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: April 16, 2020

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