When You Breathe by Diana Farid

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In the poetic picture book When You Breathe by Diana Farid, illustrated by Billy Renkl (Cameron + Company, 2020), the author, a physician, describes the connections between the wind and air around us and the breath that sustains our lives. Beginning with a breath that “fills the upside tree” in our lungs, Farid continues the analogy to a tree all the way down to the blooms and buds on the ends of a tree’s branches, making a seemingly effortless introduction to the bronchioles in our lungs without even using the scientific term.

Subsequent pages highlight the result of air in your lungs: your movement and the vibration on your vocal cords, as well as a connection to the stars and the world around you. All this information is conveyed in fewer words than this review has used. Gorgeous mixed media illustrations complement the text, with golden stars representing the moving air throughout. An end matter page defines scientific terms for anyone interested in teaching more.

Reviewed on December 16, 2022

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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