Review of In Between

In Between
by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre; photos by the authors
Primary  Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp.
3/23    9781534487819    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781534487826    $10.99

With a poetic text and sharp, uncluttered photographs, the Sayres examine transitions in the natural world—transitions from physical spaces as well as those between states of being. The initial double-page spread sets the stage: “Every creature / on earth / at times / finds / itself / in / between.” A stark white background encourages scrutiny of the accompanying photograph of three chicks, “in between” birth and maturity, lined up in a nest located inside the V of two intersecting rafters. Other spreads, composed of two, three, or four images, create similar tableaux with layers of meaning; text placement expands the viewing experience. The authors gradually introduce synonyms; readers see a pair of birds with eyes just about closed, “almost asleep, / but not yet”; and see a duckling flapping its wings, as “in the meanwhiles” it grows stronger. Ideal for a group read-aloud, this book encourages discussion of personal “in betweens.”

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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