Questions, Questions
Questions, Questions
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Annotation: Poses questions about nature, such as why birds sing and why leaves turn brown.
Catalog Number: #52462
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: North-South Books
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 32
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7358-4000-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-50991-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7358-4000-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-50991-7
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 22 x 30 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Inspired by an Italian song, this brightly illustrated picture book asks a series of questions related to the natural world. The rhyming text, translated from the original German, is simple enough for sharing with preschoolers. A horizontal painting, showing the cross section of the ground with four stages of a young plant's growth, illustrates the question "How do seeds know how to grow, to reach up from the earth below?" The artwork for "What makes fire burn red and gold and makes it much too hot to hold?" is more abstract, with flowing shapes in overlapping tones of white, yellow, orange, and black. Best known for the Rainbow Fish series, Pfister uses a less controlled approach here, applying acrylic paints by printing them on paper using thick cut-cardboard shapes as blocks. Interesting fractal-like effects add texture. An illustrator's note explains the technique and encourages readers to try it. This visually appealing picture book asks open-ended questions and lets children ponder the answers.
Horn Book
Rhyming couplets--one per double-page spread--ask questions about natural phenomena: "Does a whale make up a song / so other whales will sing along?" Answers aren't provided; the book simply points out nature's wonders and (one hopes) stimulates curiosity. The striking, uncluttered illustrations are a departure for Pfister: applying acrylic paint to cardboard shapes, he stamps bright images onto a white background.
Kirkus Reviews
In a departure from his usual sparkly fare, Pfister's latest is a sweetly simple look at some very deep questions, allowing children the opportunity to delve into some of life's mysteries. The questions, each presented as a rhyming couplet, could have been just as easily formulated by a child as by the author—they feel like the charming queries children seem to make when adults least expect them. "How do seeds know when to grow, / to reach up from the earth below?" "Does a whale make up a song / so other whales will sing along?" Although readers will find no answers here, most have scientific explanations, but others certainly hint toward the divine. And while the text is well written (translated from German), it is the beautiful artwork that will draw readers back for more. Luminous colors and amazing textures stand out against the stark, white backgrounds. While new to Pfister, the technique suits the tone of the text to a T. Each element was cut from thick cardboard, then painted with acrylics and stamped onto paper to complete the individual scenes. The result echoes the mix of simplicity and complexity inherent in each question. In a world that so often emphasizes answers and solid facts, it is refreshing to see a text that encourages questioning, whether realistic or imaginative flights of fancy. (Picture book. 3-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2&12; First published in Switzerland and inspired by a Lucio Dalla song, this book contains 13 rhyming couplets that pose big questions about our natural world. Many of the questions are fanciful: "Do apple seeds dream happily/of growing up to be a tree?" but some may inspire a little research: "What turns the leaves from green to brown/and sends them floating gently down?" Images transferred to the paper from cardboard cutouts loaded with acrylic paint are rich with color, texture, and visual interest. An artist's note describes the technique. A number of the couplets feel overly sentimental, but with guidance young children could enjoy thinking about them or may come up with questions of their own to ask.&12; Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
In an age when infinite answers are available in an instant, maybe the questions we ask are what matter most.""[T]here's so much that I want to know,"" writes Pfister, and in 13 short couplets he shows readers how questioning is a genuinely creative act%E2%80%94a way of being fully engaged in the world. His verses are by turns fanciful (""Do apple seeds dream happily/ of growing up to be a tree?""), scientifically minded (""What turns the leaves from green to brown/ and sends them floating gently down?""), and even faith-based (""Who teaches butterflies to fly,/ splashing their colors through the sky?""). In a departure from his Rainbow Fish series, Pfister has created images as pithy as they are poignant, boldly graphic and dramatically cropped against white backgrounds. A blue-headed songbird is reminiscent of Asian watercolor; a storm cloud looks like it's been fashioned from salt dough; falling leaves seem cut from pieces of thickly tufted carpet. Although each was created using the same painted paper method (explained on the final page), the results are as varied as the questions. Ages 3%E2%80%93up. (Mar.)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
ALA Booklist (2/1/11)
Horn Book (8/1/11)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/11)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: AD500L

How do birds learn how to sing?

What brings summer after spring?


What turns the leaves from green to brown

and sends them floating gently down?

In thirteen engaging couplets, Marcus Pfister opens children’s eyes to the wondrous mysteries all around them.

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