Living Sunlight (2008)

living-sunlight-coverLIVING SUNLIGHT
How Plants Bring the Earth to Life

By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

Scholastic Press (2008)

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—In this sequel to My Light (Scholastic, 2004), the focus is photosynthesis and its connection to all living things. The sun continues to be the “star” of the show, narrating the lyrical text. The verse is a mix of fun and fact, explaining that “My light becomes the energy/for all life on Earth.” Although the text goes on to connect the sun’s energy to plants and then to animals and people, the explanations are quite a leap for the intended audience. Beautiful illustrations light up the pages and swirl across the spreads. Bright yellow outlines large green leaves, landscapes, and animals, radiating against the dark electric blue sky. Magnified close-ups of plant cells offer visual explanations of the process. However, they are more decorative than informative. Fans of the earlier work will find this book equally satisfying. Overall, a worthy general purchase.—Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

From Booklist

*Starred Review* If a good picture book does what it sets out to do, a great one sets out to do something huge and succeeds. Living Sunlight talks to young children about photosynthesis (a vital process that most adults would be hard put to explain) in a way that tells what is actually happening at the molecular level. It also tells children why this process matters and leads them into a broad understanding of their personal connection with plant life and energy from the sun. The simple yet precise description of photosynthesis is admirable, but the broad explanation of its significance is exceptional. As in Bang’s picture book My Light (2004), the amiable, well-informed narrator is the sun. Alight with unusual intensity, the artwork fills the pages with vibrant images, whether showing a child on a swing surrounded by and infused with the sun’s energy or a rolling meadow teeming with diverse plants and animals. Visual themes such as waves of light, floating molecules, and the curving forms of trees, animals, and the earth itself recur on many pages, yet each double-page spread illustrates its lines of text with intelligence and originality. An outstanding book to read and absorb. Four pages of appended notes not available. Preschool-Grade 3.     — Carolyn Phelan

“A magnificent celebration of life.” — Natural History Magazine



American Association for the Advancement of Science SB&F Award for Excellence in Science Books