Kristin Guay, former Librarian at Youth Services Book Reviews, has picked up this exciting ARC of debut author, Billy Dunne’s upcoming picture book, Why? A Sciencey, Rhymey Guide to Rainbow, colourfully illustrated by Rhys Jefferys;
This is a cute story that I think any parent will be able to relate to when your child asks “Why” several times in a day. In this story, a dad and his young daughter are enjoying a walk after a rainstorm has passed. They look up in the sky and see a beautiful rainbow. The dad casually explains that a rainbow is created when sunshine immediately follows rain. The young girl wants a little more explanation, so she asks “Why?” The dad replies “The colors of a beam of light are jumbled up together, but split apart when passing through a spot of rainy weather.” The dad feels very happy with his response, but then his daughter asks “Why?” again. With each response, the father seems to get more and more anxious with his ability to explain rainbows to his curious daughter. This goes on and on until the dad recites a scientific formula for the reason behind a rainbow. At this point, the father is so anxious that he is in a sweating ball sitting on the ground. His daughter comes up, gives him a hug, and tells him that all she really needed was a simple answer.
As to be expected, the illustrations are bright and colorful–we are dealing with rainbows. This book is a great way to explain a scientific concept without being too challenging for young children. The way the father describes a rainbow starts very simple, but then gets more detailed. This allows children to process the information a little at a time. The book is also made up of rhymes so that gives a little beat to the story.
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children ages four through seven years old, especially if they are a child who enjoys science concepts.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children between the ages of four and seven years old.
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes