Earth Day, April 22, 2019
Katy Farber, Author
Meg Sodano, Illustrator
Green Writers Press, Fiction, Mar. 9, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Spotted salamanders, Migration, Nature, Environment, Rescue
Opening: “I watch the rain / slide down the glass / pitter, patter / drip, drop. / A flutter in my heart / of hope / that this is the day, / my day to help the salamanders.”
Synopsis: On a rainy day in early spring in the eastern regions of the U.S., warmer nights with steady rain bring the migration of thousands of spotted salamanders to ponds and pools.
April anticipates her chance to be part of one of nature’s most magical events — the migration of the spotted salamanders hiding beneath layers of earth and tree roots. They face many challenges in their journey, including roads and speeding cars. It can be a perilous crossing and April wants to help them to safety. Will you join April and her scientist mother in search of the spotted salamanders? They are fascinating creatures that can teach everyone a lot about the natural world.
Why I like this book:
Katy Farber’s poetic text has a lovely rhythm that encourages the girl’s excitement to help the spotted salamanders along their journey. It is a quiet and reverent book that will touch the hearts of children and inspire them to explore their own backyards, neighborhoods and communities for opportunities to help wildlife. Readers will share in April’s joy and loving efforts to increase the chances of survival for these mysterious spotted salamanders which matter to our environment. This book is an important tool in getting children involved in conservation.
Meg Sodano’s irresistible illustrations capture the wonder and adventure of April’s rescue mission. They create a hushed feeling with flashlights sweeping the road for little black bodies with yellow spots. There is a special spread devoted to the development of the salamanders from egg to larvae to terrestrial adult. And there is a map showing states where there are spotted salamanders. Her illustrations are rendered with colored inks, crayon, water-soluble pencils and digital techniques.
Resources: Teachers, check out the Green Writer’s Press guide in the back of the book. It covers many school curriculum requirements including life cycles, wetland habitats, and human impact in these fragile environments. It is an excellent resource for science teachers, environmental educators and parents to inspire students to get involved in saving unnoticed species.
Katy Farber is a professional development coordinator, author, and blogger from Vermont. She writes about education, parenting, the environment and sustainability for various websites and publications. Her middle grade novel, The Order of the Trees (Green Writers Press 2015), was an Honor Book in the Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Awards. Visit Katy at her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Book: Library Copy