What’s Inside a Flower? And Other Questions About Science & Nature – written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsk

    What’s Inside a Flower? And Other Questions About Science & Nature – written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky, Crown Books, 9780593176474, 2021 

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

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Nonfiction

What did you like about the book?  Despite its title, this book focuses on what’s inside the flower for only a few pages, but then offers a wealth of other information. Some generic facts open the narrative: flowers are everywhere and come in many colors and sizes. Then, extensive diagrams name the parts of the flower, how plants take up water, the carbon cycle, and the inticaties of germination and pollination. The tone is conversational and direct with easy-to-understand language and bees and blossoms offering commentary in talk bubbles. The illustrations are digitally rendered and very striking. To me, they resembled intricate embroidery, with the colorful blooms and insects flitting across the cream-colored backgrounds. Ignotofsky occasionally surprises the reader with a black background, which really makes the flowers pop. A mixture of typefaces makes it easy to distinguish between the main narrative and the labels. Children of diverse races and genders are shown planting, smelling and enjoying flowers.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I thought some of the pages were overly busy. Sometimes I had a hard time figuring out what was most important or in what order to read the information.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Children age 5 and up would be the right audience for this book. Because of the detail and the amount of text, it would work better one-to-one or in small groups. Gail Gibbons Flowers (2018) would be a read alike and one that I like more, but this one is definitely more stylish. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? 582.1

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

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: March 25, 2021

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