Over and Under The Canyon

With summer winding down, I’d like to share a beautiful picture book that has me wishing for one last summer vacation. Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal are back at it again with the third installation of the Over and Under series, Over and Under The Canyon—a stunning picture book that captures all the wonder the desert has to offer.

Title: Over and Under The Canyon
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Published: September 7, 2021
Format: Picture Book

Like the previous books in the series, Over and Under The Pond and Over and Under the Snow, this new addition combines lyrical prose with incredible illustration, creating an engaging and highly visual narrative.

Inspired by Kate Messner’s experiences camping with her family at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California, Over and Under the Canyon takes young readers on a tour of a desert canyon ecosystem as they follow a mother and her child on a hike. On their hike, they see the variety of animals that call the desert home, from the hawks flying over the canyon to the harvester ants burrowing underground. The pair hikes on through the sweltering sun to find a field of wildflowers, then back to their campsite where the father waits for them. The family then spends the night under the stars, listening to the sounds of the desert canyon.

Those of you who know me well already know that I am not the outdoors type (well, not in the Gulf Coast humidity, anyway), but Over and Under the Canyon made me want to get up and go see the wonders of nature. I’ve forgotten the magic that can be found in an afternoon hike, and this lovely book illustrates it perfectly. The illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal are absolutely stunning. Seriously, they had me ready to pack a bag and find the nearest desert!

I also appreciate it when nonfiction doesn’t feel like work. The progression of the story introduces all the various aspects of the ecosystem so effortlessly, making this both an educational and entertaining read for children. The back matter contains further detail about the 24 animals found throughout the hike for young readers who would like to delve deeper. Over and Under the Canyon is perfect for parents, nature lovers, educators, and librarians looking to add engaging nonfiction to their collections, and of course fans of Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal’s previous work on the Over and Under Series.

Over and Under the Canyon officially releases next week (September 7, 2021), but I would highly recommend preordering your copy today. You can preorder anywhere books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Chronicle Books for sending a review copy of Over and Under the Canyon. I cannot wait to read this one to my little one and nurture his love of the great outdoors.

About The Author:

Kate Messner is the award-winning author of Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, The Brilliant Deep, Over and Under the Rainforest, and How to Read a Story, as well as more than a dozen other books for young readers. Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family.

You can find Kate online at katemessner.com, on Instagram @KateMessner, and Twitter @katemessner.

About The Illustrator:

Christopher Silas Neal is the award-winning artist of Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, and Over and Under the Rainforest. His work has been published in a variety of books and magazines and featured on television. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

You can find Christopher online at csneal.com, on Instagram @csilasneal, and on Twitter @csneahttps://twitter.com/csneall.

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Old Enough To Save The Planet – A Picture Book For Young Climate Change Activists

When you hear of young climate activists, your mind may go to well known activists like Greta Thunberg. But there are children across the globe, just like our children, who are taking action against climate change.

Old Enough To Save The Planet by Loll Kirby introduces us to twelve young climate activists, and highlights the actions they are taking to make change in their community.

From New York to Australia, these young children are making huge changes like reducing the effects of traffic pollution, diverting food waste from landfills, and reducing litter pollution.

I love that Old Enough To Save The Planet gives specific examples of different elements affecting climate change, like littering and deforestation, as well as specific ways to address many of those issues. Sometimes, I feel like children’s books about climate change add anxiety for children when they describe the problems facing our planet, but this one is written with so much hope and encouragement that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

The beautiful illustrations by Adelina Lirius capture the beauty of nature, as well as the diversity of our communities, providing a great visual of how we can all work together to save the the planet that we all share

To further assist young readers in making a difference, the back of the book has several empowering ideas, including a list of ten ways young readers can help save the planet, ten ways to make their voice heard, and resources for further reading.

Old Enough To Save The Planet officially releases in North America next week (February 9, 2021), but you can preorder it today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)

Loll Kirby is a children’s book author and former teacher based in Bristol, UK, who was inspired to write this book by her students. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at www.gatherandgrow.co.uk.

Adelina Lirius is an extremely talented illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at adelinalirius.com.

I would like to thank Abrams Young Readers and Magic Cat Publishing for providing me with a review copy of such a wonderful book.

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Ways To Say I Love You – A Book About Love for the Budding Biologist

Ways to Say I Love You by Marilyn Singer is an adorable book, perfect for young readers who are beginning to show an interest in biology or animals.

In this book, we learn of the mating rituals of certain animals and compare those behaviors to the actions humans take to say, “I love you”. There isn’t any information about reproduction; just a simple explanation of how humans and animals show love to one another. Children will see peacocks showing off their tail feathers, frogs puffing out there throats, and humans doing the waltz. The target audience for this book is 4-6 years old, so the text is a bit on the sparse side.

What Ways to Say I Love You lacks in text, it makes up for with beautiful illustrations by Alette Straathof. I also love that we have examples of both interracial and same sex couples represented in the illustrations!

I will say, I have a slight issue with the first page, which reads, “It’s the truth. There’s no debate. Every creature wants a mate”. Obviously, there are people in the world who prefer to be alone and are absolutely fulfilled human beings without a partner. Ultimately, I believe the exclusion of single people in a book about love just gives us a great opportunity to discuss self love, platonic love, and the aromantic experience.

The back of the book has an informative section with a little more detail on the courtship of all the animals mentioned, further explaining the mating habits of snakes, bowerbirds, whales, and more.

You can pick up a copy of Ways To Say I Love You anywhere books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These are affiliate links, from which I will receive a small commission. These links are free to use and allow you to support the blog.)

I would like to thank Quarto Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book to review! I’m sure this one will spark plenty of interesting conversations with my little guy when he’s a bit older.

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