How Things Work: In the Yard

How Things Work: In the Yard

by Lisa Campbell Ernst, Blue Apple Staff
     
 

Award-winning, best-selling author and illustrator Lisa Campbell Ernst’s newest book celebrates young children’s inquisitiveness about the world around them—and, specifically, the things found in any yard.
 
In detailed, but easy-to-understand, language, Ernst describes the inner workings of acorns, bubbles, puddles, ants, wagons,

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Overview

Award-winning, best-selling author and illustrator Lisa Campbell Ernst’s newest book celebrates young children’s inquisitiveness about the world around them—and, specifically, the things found in any yard.
 
In detailed, but easy-to-understand, language, Ernst describes the inner workings of acorns, bubbles, puddles, ants, wagons, clouds, and birds. Her meticulous and cleverly labeled drawings inventively illustrate the functioning of everyday objects.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Graph paper–style backgrounds emphasize the schematic approach to nature that Campbell-Ernst uses to explain how different items and creatures—such as birds, butterflies, rocks, and dirt—that can be found in a typical backyard "work." There's a playful aesthetic in evidence, from the bright palette and friendly cut-paper artwork to the innate humor in some of the questions themselves ("How does a squirrel work?"). The various parts of the animals, plants, and objects are labeled, and brief facts about each subject dot the spreads ("Each kind of firefly has its own special pattern of flashing"). It's an elegantly designed primer to the natural world. Ages 4–8. (May)
Kirkus Reviews

From birds and their nests to a hose and sprinkler, this attractive informational title presents 21 familiar objects that might be found in a young reader's suburban yard. Clear, clean cut-paper illustrations in pleasingly unsaturated colors are laid out in double-page spreads on a background of colored graph paper. The minimal text is presented will in digestible bits. Acting as an example of a bird, a robin's body parts (eye, beak, feathers, etc.) are labeled, and a few fast facts (they "communicate with each other by singing," for example) are given. The range is surprisingly varied: animals such as snails, fireflies and ants; tools and toys such as a ball, a wagon and a bubble wand; dandelions, clouds and puddles; even rocks and dirt. Occasionally parts of humans are depicted; their skin colors vary. Ernst has a clear sense of what her young readers might notice and wonder about. She also helps them make connections. A caterpillar page is followed by one on a butterfly; acorn is followed by squirrel. Some, like clouds and puddles, appear on the same spread. The definitions and explanations are clear and simple, and the author sometimes suggests an activity: making a dandelion chain, catching fireflies, painting rocks, even jumping in puddles! A beguiling invitation to curious young readers and listeners to explore both the pages of the book and the world outside their doors.(Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pamela Paul
Ernst's layouts achieve an artfully composed balance between busyness and clarity, offering plenty to interest young readers without confusing them. The paper-cutout illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the text blends straightforward information and whimsical asides.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609050092
Publisher:
Blue Apple Books
Publication date:
03/30/2011
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
601,985
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
IG780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Campbell Ernst grew up in Oklahoma, spent nine years in New York City, and now lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She has written and illustrated more than twenty children's books.

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