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Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life Hardcover – Feb 1 2009

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  • Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; 3rd Printing edition (Feb. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545044227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545044226
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 24.1 x 29.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"If a good picture book does what it sets out to do, a great one sets out to do something huge and succeeds. . . . An outstanding book to read and absorb."--BOOKLIST, starred review

- "Chisholm, a professor of ecology, expands on the theme [photosynthesis], while the intense greens of Bang's gouaches bring it vibrantly to life."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

- "LIVING SUNLIGHT is less a tutorial on photosynthesis than a magnificent celebration of life."--NATURAL HISTORY

About the Author

Molly Bang, a three-time Caldecott Honor winner, has written and illustrated more than twenty books for young readers. When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry... was named a Caldecott Honor Book, a Charlotte Zolotow Book Award winner, and a Jane Addams Children's Honor Book. Ms. Bang divides her time between Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Northern California.

Penny Chisholm is a professor at MIT where she has been teaching Ecology for thirty-two years. She and her students research phytoplankton, tiny photosynthetic microbes which are food for all of the life in the oceans and regulate the global cycles of carbon and oxygen. She is awed by photosynthesis and wants children to understand how it connects us all.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa734536c) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7372e1c) out of 5 stars Simple, FUN science for the young child (photosynthesis) March 11 2009
By Deb - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Every child has a long list of "whys." Some questions are easy for a parent to answer while others, such as those in the scientific department take a bit more thought. Why do we have light? Why are plants important? What would happen if there were no plants on earth? Holly Bang and Penny Chisholm have teamed up to explain the concept of photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is a very complex process, yet they make it seem simple by explaining how light energy is converted to chemical energy and stored as "CHUNKA-CHUNKA-CHUNKA . . . sugar!"

"My light becomes the energy for all life on Earth.

All living things --
including YOU --
pulse with my light
and keep circling
round and round on Earth."

I loved the simple, beautiful flow of this book. I was immediately drawn to select this book by the stunning artwork. The scientific lesson and the illustrations mesh perfectly. With books like this science for the young child can be exciting and fun!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7372e70) out of 5 stars Yes, children can understand photosynthesis April 22 2009
By Suzie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I wonder if the writer of the Product Description in the Editorial Review section ever read this book! Living Sunlight does not show "children, teachers, and parents the remarkable magic of what makes us human." This book is about photosynthesis, not magic or being human. I love that the narrator is the sun, who is "talking" to children with a clear, respectful, and lyrical voice. I have explained many complicated ideas to children but I could never have explained how photosynthesis works in the personal and immediate way that Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm have. Like all of Molly Bang's books, Living Sunlight is beautifully illustrated; children enjoy examining the details on each page. She uses the same style of illustrations as those in the previous, companion books, Common Ground and My Light. Visually and thematically, these 3 books go together.

Hurry up bookstore buyers, teachers, librarians, parents, and friends of children! If you didn't have Living Sunlight for Earth Day, buy it now because every day is Earth Day.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa73792c4) out of 5 stars While I don't agree with the recommended age range for this book... July 16 2011
By David Marks - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is apparently recommended for children in grades 1 through 4, and even for pre-schoolers, but listen up everyone! I'm 69 and well-versed in science, ecology, nature, environmentalism, and biology, and I think the age focus for this book should be from age 10 through age 99!

It is a gorgeous piece of literature and art, and I learned some basic things from it, but it is not likely to be appreciated by most children under age 9 or 10, no matter who is mentoring/teaching them. I actually hope I am wrong (and that this book will be valuable for younger children), but on the other hand, any book that's attractive for humans from age 10 through 99 (and beyond, perhaps) is still a winner. Smile....
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa73792ac) out of 5 stars Excellently written and beautifully illustrated July 12 2011
By Pam Warren's Picks - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Living Sunlight is an amazing creation, just like our world created by the sun and the chlorophyll in plants. What I love soooo much about this book is the way that the story easily translates a rather complicated issue to children. When I learned about photosynthesis and phytoplankton in school as a girl in Junior High, it was THE most exciting science class lecture, I can EVER remember hearing.

The best part about this now for me as an adult, is that I teach the very same things to my clients as a whole foods nutritionist who thinks the world of plants and plant foods and am firmly resolved in our complete reliance on them for living a healthy life. Without plants we are nothing. We can survive easily without many other things, but we cannot survive without the greens.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7379768) out of 5 stars Science with beauty and intelligent thought June 10 2010
By Tansy Tang - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This a fabulous book! Not only were my 7 and 8-year old mesmerized, but their mother as well. Yes we have all studied the process of photosynthesis, but this book awakened me to the magic of it all. What a difference from the usual factual presentations! Molly Bang uses her past experience in writing fiction to weave in candid emotion and visual beauty with hard facts. A real winner.