Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

How Things Work: In The Yard

How Things Work: In The Yard

Lisa Campbell Ernst
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Blue Apple Books, 2011   ISBN: 978-1609050092

All kinds of things happen in family yards. People grow fruits, flowers, and veggies, birds build nests in the trees, insects live among the plants, children play soccer and run through a sprinkler, squirrels run along tree branches looking for acorns. Yards are busy places, and in this book children can explore how twenty things that are commonly found in yards work.

This journey of discovery begins with a look at “How does a bird work?” and “How does a nest work?” Children can look at a collage picture of a bird that is annotated to show the bird’s main physical features. They can read about how a robin (the bird pictured) “uses the strong muscles in its chest to flap its wings.” On the facing page, children will see pictures of a nest, which is “a home for eggs and baby birds.”

Next, the author takes a look at something quite different; she tells us how a ball works. Children will enjoy looking at the pictures of the soccer ball, baseball, beach ball, croquet ball, snowball, golf ball, basketball, and tennis ball. For a laugh, the author shows us a cheese ball as well, a ball that one should never “bounce, kick, or throw.” Diagrams show how balls bounce and roll.

Many children are fascinated by fireflies, and in this book they will find information about how these interesting insects make light and why they do it. Collage illustrations show children what a firefly looks like up close.

Other topics covered in this book include: “How do butterflies work?” “How does a rock work?” “How does Dirt Work?” and “How does a Cloud Work?”

Combining clever topics, lovely collage artwork, and interesting facts, the author of this title takes children on a unique journey through the typical family yard. Who knew that everyday things had such interesting stories?