Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

This highly informative text is beautifully illustrated throughout.  Typically, I find that scientific processes such as photosynthesis are best represented with photographic diagrams, but Molly Bang does a great job of representing these types of processes.  This story answers a question I didn’t even realize that I had or should have had.  And one that I’m sure will interest students as well: “…where are the ocean’s green plants?:  For students using “What Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew” in their science classes will relate to this discussion of they teeny tiny plants, phytoplankton, that you need a microscope to see.  These ideas are somewhat difficult to wrap your brain around, but the illustrations do just what they are needed to do.  They illustrate the points being expressed in each piece of text.  The probing questions throughout make me think of students saying, but wait…what about…[insert seemingly unlikely, but completely probable scenario here]?  As a result, I think students will especially enjoy the way the text moves logically from point A to point B.  The poetic text weaves from one idea to the next and the notes following the main body of text of the book explain each point in turn with more scientific detail.  This book is the third installment in a series with “My Light” and “Living Sunlight”, both of which would work well with lessons about the power we get from our sun.  Penny Chisholm seems to be the information piece of this project, where Molly Bang brings it to life with text that young students can understand and illustrations that bring each idea to life with context.  The bright colors offset the time spent in the deep, deep, deep, deep ocean.  Kudos on a job well done bringing a tricky scientific concept to life for elementary and middle school students (and teachers).

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
ISBN: 978-0-545-27322—0
Published 2012 by The Blue Sky Press
I borrowed this copy from the public library to read and review it.

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