Nature Is a Sculptor by Heather Ferranti Kinser

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It is hard to find a solid science picture book for read-aloud that has photographs as illustrations. Nature Is a Sculptor: Weathering and Erosion by Heather Ferranti Kinser (Milbrook Press, September 2023) is such a book. It features photography of geological wonders from around the world, paired with soft poetry that is nice to read-aloud. It not only gives examples of the power of wind, ice, and water within the photos but it also uses practical vocabulary in the readable sentences, thus teaching the geological concepts of weathering, erosion, and deposition.

Each photo is labeled with the name of the geological feature (“Delicate Arch”), and where it is found. Various typefaces and text size emphasize different parts of the sentences, emphasizing the important words and highlighting the titular phrase “Nature is a sculptor” every few pages. The book does not talk down to the child reader and the sentences seamlessly flow from one to the next. The rhymes are not forced but rather “soft” rhymes, so when words don’t actually rhyme, it still has the assonance of a rhyme. For example, extremes is rhymed with museums and moves with smooths. It makes for such a pleasant read-aloud!

As is often to be expected, end matter further clarifies each scientific term, the photos are explained, and a glossary supplements the rest of the text. Even without the end matter, however, a young child will certainly appreciate the stunning landscapes in the photos. They will stand in awe of the concept that nature was the sculptor of these unique features around the world.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviewed on August 14, 2023

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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