Rachel Carson Cared About Our World

Babylit. (Little Naturalists). Apr. 2022. 22p. Board. $9.99. ISBN 9781423660354.
PreS-K–This board book series attempts to introduce naturalists Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson to the youngest set. Both titles use short phrasing to present a simplified version of the naturalists’ journeys from childhood to adulthood activism: “Rachel spoke—and people heard. Now we know how to take good care of fish, of bees, of birds that sing.” It ends with a caution: “If we are careful with our world, we’ll always have a songbird spring.” Chunky font and accompanying uncluttered illustrations in a muted palette have a graphic-design feel. The text in the book on Roosevelt rhymes in the second half and ends abruptly, noting “He also gave his name to the famous teddy bear!” While brief paragraphs on the back covers provide more information on each person, the text is small and likely to be overlooked. Visually appealing, the format does not match the content in this series.
VERDICT The supplementary material needed to place Carson and Roosevelt in toddlers’ understanding is overwhelming; children are unlikely to come away with even a rudimentary grasp of these naturalist heroes.

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