Monday, January 23, 2017

Non-Fiction Monday: Under Earth, Under Water by Aleksandra Mizielinkska and Daniel Mizielinski

Under Earth, Under Water by Aleksandra Mizielinkska and Daniel Mizielinski. 112 p. Candlewick Press, October, 2016. 9780763689223. (Review from copy borrowed from library.)

Unlike in an earlier review where I had forgotten how I found out about a book, I do remember where I learned of this gem - it was chosen as an NSTA outstanding book. Yeah. I totally missed the starred review in SLJ. Sigh. Yeah, I must up my game. I used to be so good at this!

Okay, so this oversized volume will be very difficult to shelve. The good news is that you might not have to, much. It is sure to be a favorite. Just leave it out for students to discover and pore over.

When I shared this with my students in "Period Kahn," I made a big show of asking them where the front of the book was and how I should open it. They were intrigued and talked about how most books stand vertically but this one's words were horizontal but on both sides. Hm. I have one student (bound to be a librarian) who is obsessed with copyright dates. He spied the ISBN code on the Under Water side and decided we should start on the Under Earth side. And that makes sense.

The authors take the reader on a layer-by-layer tour of the depths of the earth and water and it is fascinating! This is not a read aloud. This is not a book you will get through in one sitting. It is a book you will pore over and return to again and again. It is a book I thought about as I took this rather long escalator, nearly vertical, ride up from the MARTA stop in Atlanta on Friday. There is an impressive spread of subway depths around the world.

Impressive is the operating word here. Text boxes are arrayed across the horizontal double-page spreads and they all stun. Prepare to spend some time on each spread. Indeed, earth science teachers could use them to introduce units. There is a ton of information both textually and visually on each. 

The out-side-the-box Table of Contents will even shake things up. I'm not sure of its use for extensive research, say for a report about a particular area of earth science, but this book is sure to get kids excited about earth science and perhaps spark an idea for that research project.

Click on this link to a trailer for a nice overview of the layout and you'll see that you need to buy this for your kids.

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