Review of Everyone Starts Small

Everyone Starts Small Everyone Starts Small
by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Dominique Ramsey
Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.
3/24     9781536226157    $18.99

“Everyone starts small and then grows.” Scanlon gives readers and listeners a better understanding of the natural world through a lyrical exploration of how all its elements are interconnected. Everything is growing and doing well until Sun becomes “too hot,” which results in Tree overheating. Dry conditions caused by Sun eventually lead to Fire. The flames can only be cooled by Rain. As the temperature drops, Fire whispers, “I’m tired,” and “half the world, it seems, lies down to sleep.” While this dormant period may look like the end, Ramsey’s dynamic digital illustrations capture what’s still happening underneath Soil. Tree’s roots stretch down deeper into the dirt. Berry provides nutrients for Bug in a burrow, and seeds begin to germinate. Eventually, the resulting plants burst forth through the ground as small stalks, starting the cycle all over again. An author’s note explains how Earth’s ecosystems work together to look out for one another, particularly after “environmental traumas” such as fires and the “myriad effects of climate change.” It also includes a list of organizations young people can look to for ways to help.

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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