Recess at 20 Belowby Cindy Aillaud
For many Alaskan kids, if it is colder than 20 below zero, they stay indoors for recess; otherwise, it's outside for frosty fun! This is a photo book with text written from a child's perspective on what kids do during recess at 20 below.
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Through minimal text, a girl describes dressing for and enjoying recess in Alaska, even when it is 20 degrees below zero. Colorful, clear photographs, many framed against pastel backgrounds imprinted with snowflakes, show the various items of clothing the children put on and their playground activities, such as sledding, making forts, and playing soccer or football. Telling pictures feature frozen eyelashes, hair, and eyebrows, as well as the mounds of clothing when recess is over. The only thing that stops these students from going outside for a break from their studies is a temperature lower than 20 below or a random moose.SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
K-Gr. 3. Aillaud, who wrote the text and took the photos here, teaches elementary physical education in Delta Junction, Alaska, a town at the end of the Alaska Highway, above the Arctic Circle. By focusing on one school activity--outdoor recess (the cut-off point for the school's outdoor recess is 20 below), she demonstrates how cold things get and how kids deal with it and still have plenty of fun. The first-person narrative, from a student's perspective, explains the arduous process of suiting up for the outdoors, then follows the kids as they sled, adapt to playground equipment buried under snow, make snow forts and tunnels, and even play soccer and football. Twenty-five color photographs capture marvelous details: snow mounds, a moose on the playground, kids whose eyelashes are weighed down by ice. Aillaud, who won a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship in 2000 and was selected as a Disney Teacher of the Year, gives a familiar school-day activity a whole new meaning in delightful, intriguing fashion.--BOOKLIST
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