My Light

( 1 )

Overview


Caldecott Honor artist Molly Bang celebrates the many wonders of the sun, with radiant words and images that illuminate the myriad ways in which the sun gives us energy and power from its light.

Often taken for granted, the sun gives us more than its light. Here, acclaimed author and illustrator Molly Bang presents a celebration of the wonder and power of the sun and its radiance. With dazzling paintings and a simple poetic text, MY LIGHT follows the paths of the sun's rays, ...

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Overview


Caldecott Honor artist Molly Bang celebrates the many wonders of the sun, with radiant words and images that illuminate the myriad ways in which the sun gives us energy and power from its light.

Often taken for granted, the sun gives us more than its light. Here, acclaimed author and illustrator Molly Bang presents a celebration of the wonder and power of the sun and its radiance. With dazzling paintings and a simple poetic text, MY LIGHT follows the paths of the sun's rays, showing the many ways in which we obtain energy from its light. As in COMMON GROUND (Giverny Award for Best Science Picture Book), Bang uses a story to explain the basic concepts behind electricity and our energy resources--a compelling and easily-accessible way to present a non-fiction subject.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

School Library Journal
(April 1, 2004; 0-439-48961-X)

Gr 1-5-Bang has chosen a huge topic, and in some ways, it overwhelms her. Writing in the voice of the sun, the first-person narrative investigates various forms of energy on Earth, all derived in one way or another from the light and heat of this solar system's major star. It's an enormous task-how to describe the weather cycle, dams, turbines, electricity and its generation, windmills, fossil fuels (she mentions coal but leaves out oil), and solar cells in an illustrated book for fairly young children-and Bang is only moderately successful. Indeed, in the introduction to four pages of much denser end matter, the author mentions that her notes started turning into an encyclopedia, but, mercifully, an editor "cut them WAY back. Now those notes are on my Web site at www.mollybang.com, and I hope interested readers will do further research on their own." Overall, the author makes a valiant stab, and for science-minded children who can absorb a large amount of information, this title could be an interesting selection. Her stunning and technically accomplished illustrations, as always, are radiant and worth a look. Despite its shortcomings, this ambitious book is an illuminating auxiliary purchase.-Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly
(February 23, 2004; 0-439-48961-X)

With the carefully honed prose and wholly original visual imagination that have long been her hallmarks, Bang (When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry...) explores the many ways in which the sun's light is transformed into the energy that fuels almost everything on the earth. Children will like the voice: the speaker is the sun ("your golden star"). The energy from "my light" becomes the book's recurring visual motif: Bang visualizes it as undulating necklaces of golden, effervescent dots that travel through space, pulsate through power lines and wind in and out of generators. Each sequence of spreads examines a form and function of the sun's energy. Bang explains how sunlight drives the water cycle, creating rain that carries "my energy down, down, down" via rivers to a dam ("You humans stop the flow. My energy is trapped.... Whoosh! The water spins the turbines round and round. It spins my energy to generators, which make electricity"). Page after page of compelling images illuminate the drama of the text: a jungle brought to life by photosynthesis; a parade of soaring, buzzing power lines, standing against a purple-gray sky, cleaved by lightning. In the lengthy but spirited afterword (readers are referred to the author's Web site for even more information), Bang notes that although she had little prior interest in energy, her fascination grew the more she delved into the subject. Youngsters should find her enthusiasm electrifying. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Booklist
(February 1, 2004; 0-439-48961-X)

Gr. 1-3. A typical science text for kids might define light as shifting electromagnetic fields. In Bang's outstanding new picture-book exploration of light and energy, electromagnetism is mentioned only in the endnote, and the accessible text, narrated by the sun (I am your sun, a golden star. You see my radiance as light ), will be far more meaningful for children than one with stock definitions. Bang focuses on four scenarios in which the generation of electricity can be traced back to the sun: a hydroelectric dam, wind turbines, a coal-burning plant, and solar cells. Making the connection between light, water, wind, and electricity requires a conceptual leap, but tiny yellow dots representing the sun's power as it streams from one form to another will help children grasp the principle of energy conservation. Bang's strong design sense comes through in compositions that gracefully incorporate diagrams a

The Washington Post
… as in her 1997 book on natural resources, Common Ground, it is Bang's brilliantly clear, colorful paintings that really illuminate the concepts she discusses. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
With the carefully honed prose and wholly original visual imagination that have long been her hallmarks, Bang (When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry...) explores the many ways in which the sun's light is transformed into the energy that fuels almost everything on the earth. Children will like the voice: the speaker is the sun ("your golden star"). The energy from "my light" becomes the book's recurring visual motif: Bang visualizes it as undulating necklaces of golden, effervescent dots that travel through space, pulsate through power lines and wind in and out of generators. Each sequence of spreads examines a form and function of the sun's energy. Bang explains how sunlight drives the water cycle, creating rain that carries "my energy down, down, down" via rivers to a dam ("You humans stop the flow. My energy is trapped.... Whoosh! The water spins the turbines round and round. It spins my energy to generators, which make electricity"). Page after page of compelling images illuminate the drama of the text: a jungle brought to life by photosynthesis; a parade of soaring, buzzing power lines, standing against a purple-gray sky, cleaved by lightning. In the lengthy but spirited afterword (readers are referred to the author's Web site for even more information), Bang notes that although she had little prior interest in energy, her fascination grew the more she delved into the subject. Youngsters should find her enthusiasm electrifying. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Written in the first person, My Light chronicles the daily activities of the sun as "it" shares what it does for the earth and how it accomplishes it. "I am your sun, a golden star. You see my radiance as light . . ." Bang's well-researched tale and four pages of follow-up text that provides additional information in support of the simpler "story" on each page is excellent and would help adults provide greater context for children interested in knowing the specifics of energy, absorption, etc. Yet this is not a dull read; Bang's imagery and word choice provide a vivid text for her readers. And then there are the illustrations: phenomenal only begins to explain Bang's choices in her use of color and composition. While the text is solid, the pictures really help to bring home the point of the text. This is a picture book that should be found in all libraries. 2004, The Blue Sky Press, Ages 5 to 12.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Bang has chosen a huge topic, and in some ways, it overwhelms her. Writing in the voice of the sun, the first-person narrative investigates various forms of energy on Earth, all derived in one way or another from the light and heat of this solar system's major star. It's an enormous task-how to describe the weather cycle, dams, turbines, electricity and its generation, windmills, fossil fuels (she mentions coal but leaves out oil), and solar cells in an illustrated book for fairly young children-and Bang is only moderately successful. Indeed, in the introduction to four pages of much denser end matter, the author mentions that her notes started turning into an encyclopedia, but, mercifully, an editor "cut them WAY back. Now those notes are on my Web site at www.mollybang.com, and I hope interested readers will do further research on their own." Overall, the author makes a valiant stab, and for science-minded children who can absorb a large amount of information, this title could be an interesting selection. Her stunning and technically accomplished illustrations, as always, are radiant and worth a look. Despite its shortcomings, this ambitious book is an illuminating auxiliary purchase.-Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Told poetically from the perspective of the sun, Bang's latest illuminates electricity and explains how humans harness energy from water, wind, earth, and sun. A dramatic opening spread draws readers in, depicting a city seen from above, its stippled light reflected stars in an inky night sky. The sun, Bang explains, is the biggest star of all, radiating light and heat. Later, she uses a trio of overlapping panels-reminiscent of traditional Japanese nature scenes-to home in as water, warmed by the sun, returns to earth as rain, flowing from mountaintop to rushing river. Throughout, Bang uses these panels to emphasize technical elements, such as the flow of electricity from turbines to generator. Backmatter offers further detail on fossil fuel and solar power. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439489614
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 493,233
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author


Molly Bang has written and illustrated more than twenty books for young readers, including WHEN SOPHIE GETS ANGRY--REALLY, REALLY ANGRY...; TEN, NINE, EIGHT; and THE GREY LADY AND THE STRAWBERRY SNATCHER, each of which were Caldecott Honor books. Bang divides her time between Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Norther California.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2004

    Really turns on the light for children - and their teacher.

    The sun is the ultimate source of all our energy. Most of us know that, but explaining it, especially to childen, is tough. This book makes it clear and simple - and fun. I read it to my 30 kindergartners today and was amazed how much they understood. The flow of words makes it an easy read-aloud and there is just enough repetition to hook the children. The drawings are bright, exciting, and easy to follow. With very little explanation on my part the children truly understood that flipping a switch or eating breakfast could bring them energy from the sun.

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