Baby Loves Photosynthesis on St. Patrick’s Day!

Charlesbridge. (Baby Loves Science). Jan. 2022. 20p. ISBN 9781623543075. Board. $8.99.
PreS-Gr 2–Both board books introduce a holiday with short descriptive sentences, and then segue into a related science concept prompted by the text—the lunar calendar for Chinese New Year and clovers for St. Patrick’s Day. Each title concludes with more about the holiday and the caveat that not all celebrate it. The description of the lunar month in Lunar Phases, supported by illustrations of a smiling moon, makes the science accessible and capably ties into the narrative of the holiday: “Chinese New Year begins on a new moon. It’s the start of the lunar year!” The science in Photosynthesis strains to tie into the narrative by asking “What makes clover and other plants grow?” The narrative bogs down with the scientific concept and advanced vocabulary, such as chloroplasts, chlorophyll, stomata; though the illustrations do an admirable job using arrows, lines, and simple shapes to depict the inside of a cell and how light interacts with it. The return to the holiday description afterward is an abrupt shift in the narrative. While babies may be the intended audience for this series, the scientific concepts and holiday descriptions will be more useful as simple introductions for older children. Babies will enjoy the bright, uncluttered illustrations and hearing the rich language, though comprehension will be a challenge for those under three.
VERDICT Simple sentences with advanced vocabulary packaged in a board book format succinctly explain holidays and scientific concepts with uneven success.

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