illus. by Octavio Oliva. 32p. CIP. East West Discovery. 2011. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-9832278-3-0. LC 2011021813.
PreS-Gr 2—Smith introduces this complex concept through catchy rhythmical sequences, thereby making it appealing to the target audience. "The sky is high, the trees are low. The trees are high, the grass is low." Even preschoolers will find the text amusing. The Spanish translation has the same poetic structure as the English, hence avoiding a literal translation without taking away the original elegance of the rhyming text. The engaging full-bleed illustrations offer a clear portrait of the comparisons made to explain relativity while the use of a large font is ideal to capture the attention of children. This book can be used by teachers and parents alike interested in awakening critical and analytical thinking in their kids. Additionally, this picture book could also enhance a storytime on opposites.—Patricia Rua-Bashir, The Brentwood Library, TN
Awkward rhymed English-language text ("Trees go slow, / don't you know? / Trees grow high, / oh my, oh my") attempts to encourage children to ponder the idea that everything is relative. Some of the Spanish translations rhyme, some of them don't. The illustrations look like bad digital photos that have gone through the wrong end of Photoshop.
Encourages critical thinking by challenging readers to question generalizations and consider the world they encounter from a variety of perspectives. Michael Smith offers just a sampling of the many meanings of relativity and then urges readers who want to know more to do additional research. When the little boy in the book stubs his toe, Smith turns the notion of relativity into a coping mechanism for everyday bumps and bruises. Octavio Oliva’s use of light and shadow gives his unique illustrations a dreamlike quality.

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