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Where the Sunrise Begins
  • Alternative view 1 of Where the Sunrise Begins
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Where the Sunrise Begins

5.0 2
by Douglas Wood, K. Wendy Popp (Illustrator)

Where does the sunrise begin? Douglas Wood asks this question in the style that has made him an internationally bestselling author. He answers it by focusing on the world of one child, then moving to another child’s world farther away, and then yet still farther, to the ends of the Earth, before bringing the text back to its starting point. Stunning artwork


Where does the sunrise begin? Douglas Wood asks this question in the style that has made him an internationally bestselling author. He answers it by focusing on the world of one child, then moving to another child’s world farther away, and then yet still farther, to the ends of the Earth, before bringing the text back to its starting point. Stunning artwork provides a beautiful sweeping look at a world that is simple yet complex, one in which the sun always rises to reveal a new day, a new life, and a new chance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The swooping font, sunrise hues, and idyllic scene of a boy and his toy boat on the cover of this book signal the inspirational message found within. “Where does the sunrise begin?” asks Wood (Old Turtle), answering the question in prose poetry (“Some say it starts upon the great, rolling sea,/ over waters deeper than the highest mountains”; “Some say it begins in Africa,/ where life first arose and walked on two legs/ and spoke its own name”). Popp (One Candle) drafts closeups of natural wonders (a nestful of bird’s eggs, a prehistoric jawbone), then pulls back for striking portraits of children observing the objects (a dark-haired girl aims her camera at the nest, an African girl in native dress contemplates the skull). “Wherever there is a heart that loves the light,” Wood concludes, “...and feels gratitude for each new day,/ in that heart the sun is always rising/ and helping to fill the world with light.... The sunrise begins in you.” It’s a noble sentiment, and Wood’s prayerlike prose is the sort that even less spiritually oriented gift givers will be drawn to. Ages 3-7. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This poetic celebration of the beauty of life and nature with each day's "brand new sunrise" asks the question, "...where does the sunrise begin?" A series of answers starts: "Some say..." suggesting on double-page spreads the high mountain; the treetop; the marsh; the lake; the great rolling sea; Africa; the Far East; the Middle East; and finally, in our own native land. But each answer offered, in a large, elegant script, is denied; the sunrise does not begin there. Because, as the earth turns, "...every moment brings the sunrise to someone..." So the answer is, "The sunrise begins in you." Double pages are dominated by a warm, rosy tone suffusing realistic images of natural objects like eggs in a nest, a partly submerged frog, a girl with a camera, a young African with an animal skull, a youngster by a lily pond. Popp's illustrations, done in conte crayon and pastel and darkened digitally, produce an appropriately dreamy, romantic atmosphere with images arising from a mist. She has worked from life and photographs, including friends and family members as appealing characters in this paean to each new day. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This soothing exploration of sunrise asks readers to consider the exact origin of the daily event. The text suggests many locations as the spot where the sunrise first appears (mountain, lake, the Middle East), but concludes, "The sunrise begins in you." The pacing evokes the early-morning glow of first light, alternating between poetic blocks of text and repetitive prompts ("But Africa is not where the sunrise begins."). The collaboration of author and illustrator is near perfection as the text and artwork build on one another. The alternating pattern of the narrative is reflected in images that often show a close perspective and then draw back on the following page. Colors go beyond the expected rose hues, and each misty scene is like a jewel. Clever details such as the similarity of a rooster's eye to a planet in space and the silhouette of a family shown in a butterfly's wing add to the continuity. Like a treasure for those with the patience to find it, this beautiful story will capture the attention of thoughtful children.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
Kirkus Reviews
It may be that knowing this is another offering from the author of Old Turtle (1992, illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee) is all one needs for a decision to buy. Married to Popp's soft and luminous pastel-and-conte crayon images are equally soft and occasionally luminous wisps of prose. The world is always "turning toward dawn," but the mountaintops are not where sunrise begins. Nor is it the treetops, the sea, the Far East or "our own native land." The answer will be familiar in its sentimentality: "[T]he sunrise begins in you." Some who find this unbearably saccharine may be somewhat mollified by the prettiness of the pictures: A barefoot girl feeds chickens, a boy builds a sand mountain and so on, all against great washes of sky, land and water in the pearly colors of dawn. Others may find it just too difficult to accept prose with such phrases as "in a land known as Holy" or "drowsy ducks / . . . speak in soft, murmuring tones about / the things that ducks know." Readers probably already know if they will love this or not. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.60(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
AD1100L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Douglas Wood is the author of When a Dad Says “I Love You,” When a Grandpa Says “I Love You, The Secret of Saying Thanks, and A Quiet Place as well as the New York Times bestselling Can’t Do series. His books Old Turtle and Old Turtle and the Broken Truth were both international bestsellers. Additional titles include No One But You, illustrated by P.J. Lynch; Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed The World, illustrated by Barry Moser; and Where the Sunrise Begins, illustrated by K.Wendy Popp. Douglas lives in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota. A studied naturalist, he shares his knowledge of nature as a wilderness guide.

K Wendy Popp's pastels and drawings have been used to illustrate publications internationally for over two decades, and her artwork is held in private collections and galleries throughout the United States. Her previous books include Sister Anne's Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki and One Candle by Eve Bunting. Ms. Popp lives and works in upstate New York with her husband, Bill, and two children, Zoe and Wynn.

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Where the Sunrise Begins 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TropicalHouston More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book with some wonderful illustrations and poems.  Each page is so exciting with the beauty of nature around us with lots of topics to explore.  I love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago