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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Celebrating Earth Day

Ubiquitous

Ubiquitous, Joyce Sidman

How did you celebrate? How about your classroom? Your library? Your family?

We went to Joyce Sidman‘s publication party for Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors (Houghton Mifflin), illustrated with linoleum block prints by Becky Prange, who lives in Ely, Minnesota, and was trained as a scientific illustrator. When Joyce explained how Becky created the amazing timeline on the endpapers of the book … well, there has to be a fair amount of genius in both the author and illustrator of this book.

As a reader who is interested in science but doesn’t have a deep background in the subject, the idea that 99% of the species once on earth have already disappeared is … astonishing. Many of the species that remain are … ubiquitous. They are everywhere all the time.

I admire Joyce for thinking to write a poem about bacteria, the earliest cellular lifeform. Bacteria, mollusks, ants, squirrels … all are ubiquitous … and Joyce has written poems in differing forms for each one. The poem about squirrels will make you laugh out loud. Squirrels are so … ubiquitous (I love saying that word) … that we all recognize their behavior. We get the joke.

Even better, the short paragraphs that explain why these lifeforms are ubiquitous leave the reader saying , “I didn’t know that,” over and over again. Very satisfying.

Science geek or science wanna-be, young child (it was good to hear your ideas, Milo) or grandparent, everyone finds a reason to like this book.

(Watch the video under the Picture Book category.)

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