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.)