This is the second in my series of nonfiction picture book reviews (read the first here) that explores what makes outstanding nonfiction. Have a nonfiction picture book you love? Let me know in comments!
My four-year-old loves asking questions. Right now, everything is “why?” Or “what does that mean?” He particularly loves asking the definitions of little words like “if” or “unless.” And let me tell you–defining the connecting words is hard. Like the proverbial fish defining “water,” I struggle to relate the simplest concepts because they simply are.
So, when I read Jason Chin’s GRAVITY, I was impressed. Gravity itself is much like the air we breathe. It’s omnipresent, taken for granted. But Chin describes it beautifully by leaning into its simplicity.
A talented (and celebrated) author-illustrator, Chin lets the art do much of the talking. Many of the spread feature more illustrations than words and plays with the idea of what would happen without gravity. I particularly enjoy that he incorporates a copy of the book itself into the art.
Though the text itself is sparse, ample backmatter provides a more scientific grounding on the subject.