NONFICTION

The Reason for the Seasons

Boyds Mills. (A Joulia Copernicus Bk.). Feb. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781635921366.
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Gr 1-4–Seasons happen everywhere on the Earth, but the reason they occur may not be as obvious as it seems. Joulia Copernicus is a scientist: she observes the world around her and investigates what she does not know until she finds the answer. Spring, summer, fall, and winter are the four primary seasons, though some places experience additional seasons depending on their location. The widespread popular belief is that seasons occur because of how close the Earth happens to be to the sun. Joulia investigates this conclusion, however, and determines that there is more to the seasons than first meets the eye. Oversize pages and vibrant illustrations immediately draw readers into the narrative. While it is filled with an abundance of information, the text is written in a way that is easily accessible to elementary school–age readers. Instead of immediately getting to the conclusion, the story progresses through incorrect opinions first and explains the fault in each one; therefore, readers directly experience the scientific process through a narrative structure. Just as a real scientist questions the assumptions of the world, Joulia gets to the bottom of the question of the seasons in an enjoyable and educational way. The final page provides a scientific experiment to show how seasons work and to help explain this concept to others.
VERDICT This book will help elementary school students better understand one of the most widely recognized aspects of space science.

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