Every Breath We Take: A Book About Air
Maya Ajmera, author
Maya Ajmera is the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Society for Science and the Public as well as Publisher of its award-winning magazine, Science News. Maya is the author of Global Baby Boys and Global Baby Bedtimes. She lives in Washington, DC.
Read more about Maya.
Dominique Browning, author
Dominique Browning is the co-founder, senior director, and lead blogger for Moms Clean Air Force and the author of three memoirs. She has worked with and written for The New York , Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and O, the Oprah Magazine, among others. Dominique lives in New York City.
Read more about Dominique.
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Sentences of large-print text and colorful stock photographs move from the ubiquity of air to pollution to fighting pollution. After an upbeat foreword from actor Julianne Moore, who mentions, among other things, that "kids are smart," it is a let-down to realize that most of the pages that follow are generalized truisms about air that only the youngest children may not have grasped--that air goes out "when a baby screams"; that all creatures and all plants need air; that wind is moving air; that air carries sounds and smells. The book then amps up the complexity with the statement that "air looks and smells bad when it is dirty. That's called air pollution." Nevertheless, an older child might enjoy reading the book to a younger one and explaining such photographs as one with solar panels and another showing a child using an inhaler. Both text and photographs are winners in terms of gender equality, multiculturalism, and ethnic diversity. after the final comparison of clean air to love, there are two pages with a little more specific information, such as a simple explanation of air's composition and the cool fact that children take about twice as many breaths as adults. However, even here there are too many sentences reiterating the fact that clean air is important. A prettily packaged bit of environmentalism for the youngest readers from a writing team of children's health advocates.
Air: a fundamental source of life that people take for granted, even as they depend on it. By making air visible through plentiful illustrations and simple examples in the text, Ajmera and Browning remind readers to be responsible for this important resource. Each two-page spread describes a trait of air: it carries sound, it moves, it can be felt and seen. Photographs of people, plants, animals, and the planet visually support these traits, depicting faces and places that all readers will recognize and relate to. Air fills balloons, and bubbles, makes kites fly, blows an umbrella inside out, and turns windmills to create energy. The dangers of air pollution are described, as well as ways to prevent and repair the damage humans have caused. Blending simple science concepts about the nature of air with pictures that bring it all home, this book will inspire readers to take care of this crucial, wonderful, ubiquitous element. Explanatory panels at the end provide supplementary information in an FAQ format.
School Library Journal
This book from the Moms Clean Air Force is a beautiful effort to inform and inspire children to care for the environment. The clear, brightly colored photographs feature a diverse cast of young children and animals engaging in outside activities, while the text explains the features and importance of clean air. The overall message is that every living organism on Earth needs clean air to survive. The straightforward sentences explain basic concepts about air, such as its ability to carry sound. Every child can relate to the narrative and photos, but adults can use the supplementary information at the back of the book to further inform children about the causes and effects of air pollution with suggestions to improve or prevent additional air damage. VERDICT This title serves as a solid introduction to young readers' study of basic human needs.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-859-7 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-860-3 PDF
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Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 9 1/2
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Grade K. Standards 1-8, 10
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Grade 1. Standards 1-4, 6-8, 10