Elinor Wonders Why: Hiding in Plain Sight

Kids Can. Sept. 2022. 40p. ISBN 9781525306198. 14.99.
K-Gr 2–Why are sequoia trees so tall? How do animals use camouflage in nature? Elinor, an inquisitive white rabbit, incessantly wonders about the physical world around her in this early reader graphic novel series based on the popular PBS animated television series. Two new titles follow Elinor and her Animal Town chums—Olive, a bookworm elephant, and Ari, an enterprising bat—as they observe, ask questions, and seek answers to nature questions they encounter at school. In Forest Giants, a field trip to a grove of sequoia trees has the trio of friends searching for the secret of the big trees. The companion title, Hiding in Plain Sight, follows Elinor, Olive, and Ari as they learn about animal camouflage. Digitally rendered artwork presents a pastel watercolor look to the background, framing the mix of square, splash, circular, and multiple panels on each page. Panel narrative blocks present special information—such as place and time—to readers. Thought bubbles reveal problem-solving ideas. Some frames depict panoramic views so viewers can judge scale (the sequoia trees in comparison to the school bus). Other frames feature close-ups that zoom in on a character and their discovery (Elinor looking at a katydid). Challenge panels are included that spotlight vocabulary words and science facts. The back matter includes thoughtful nature experiments and observation challenges.
VERDICT An adorable media tie-in graphic novel series that encourages children and their special grown-ups to use science inquiry skills while observing the glorious world around them.

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