It’s summer, time for family vacations. One place that has been on my husband’s bucket list for some time is the Grand Canyon. I would like my daughters to be a touch older so that they can appreciate it a bit more and not balk at the walking involved, but it is definitely something that we plan to do at some point. Before we could possibly attempt that, letting our children explore Jason Chin’s Grand Canyon is an absolute must.
Grand Canyon is one of the most talked about books in the nonfiction picture book genre right now. I got a copy of the book from the library and now I can completely understand why this book has people so excited. Chin takes a fascinating look into the Grand Canyon and the book works as a wonderful research tool for any child in the upper elementary grades.
Through vibrant illustration, Chin shows off the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and helps kids understand its vastness. Intelligently, he utilizes a parent and child hiking through the canyon as a way to show things from a child’s perspective and to encourage children to do the very same thing.
For the child doing a research project, many of the spreads show what plants and animals live on the various canyon levels. While explaining the basic creation of the canyon, Chin also breaks down the various layers and their approximate creation. I know that my older daughter was amazed when she learned about the various levels of the ocean, so this has a similar potential of grabbing interest.
One of the most interesting printing techniques that Chin employs is the use of cutouts to show how items people find in present time help us to understand the past. Case in point, when the child looks at a rock, she finds a fossil. Turn the page, and she is transported under water to highlight how this region had once been underwater.
Chin puts an immense amount of information into this book. Just as the Grand Canyon takes quite some time to explore, I would suggest allowing yourself a good amount of time to make it through this entire book. Of course Chin also includes EVEN MORE information in the back of the book. A truly outstanding work!
In learning about this book, I also found out about a few other books that Jason Chin has written which I am going to have to get my hands on. Coral Reefs sounds like one that my older daughter will adore, having done a research project on them a few years ago. Redwoods also sounds like a must read.
Every Wednesday I try to post a non-fiction picture book as part of the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. There are truly so many amazing nonfiction picture books being published these days, it can be hard to contain myself sometimes. Make sure to check out Kid Lit Frenzy and the linked blogs to find some more fabulous books!