Review of Something About the Sky

Something About the Sky Something About the Sky
by Rachel Carson; illus. by Nikki McClure
Intermediate    Candlewick Studio    56 pp.
3/24    9781536228700    $19.99

This previously unpublished essay from “poet of science” Carson (1907–1964) is paired beautifully with McClure’s cut-paper and swirling ink-wash art. In 1956, a children’s television program asked Carson to respond to a child’s request for “something about the sky.” Her thoughts are as wonderfully ruminative as one might expect from the environmental scientist and nature-writing icon. She chooses the familiar—clouds—and connects them to “the ocean in the air,” detailing natural phenomena with emphasis on the interconnectivity of Earth’s air and water systems. Or, better summarized by Carson: “Clouds are as old as the earth itself—as much a part of our world as land or sea. They are the writing of the wind on the sky. They are the cosmic symbols of a process without which life itself could not exist on earth.” McClure’s illustrations are limited mostly to blue, black, and white, highlighting the space and movement of air, wind, oceans, and sky in background washes. Cut-paper images of people in the foreground connect the science concepts to human experiences. In an endnote, McClure explains the origins of Carson’s essay, how the book project came about, and the thoughtful and resourceful process she used to create the illustrations.

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

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.