Scholastic/Orchard. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338726626.
Gr 1-4–Curiosity can lead to some interesting places. Cross Beckerman shares her curiosity for caves and opens up her discoveries of what’s hiding in those dark places with young readers. Big, beautiful, and colorful artwork showcases cave systems around the globe, such as the Lascaux Cave in France and its ancient drawings, the Glowworm Grotto of Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, and the massive bat colony of Bracken Cave in Texas. The book invites young readers to explore—safely—the wonder of caves, while also introducing future spelunkers to the rules and equipment of exploring. Over the book’s 40 pages, the text vacillates between carefully styled, almost lyrical prose and informative blocks of text. Such a reading is an exciting way to engage with the rhythm of the story, but also there is an opportunity to craft a particular takeaway of the book: an artful cave-reading experience or an information-focused track.
VERDICT Whether for pleasure or for research, this is a wonderful book to get lost in.

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