We’re living in a golden age of children’s nonfiction. Pioneering author Melissa Stewart has identified five types of modern nonfiction children’s books, and many authors, teachers, and librarians report on how much kids love reading factual books.
My kids (and I!) certainly loved the soon-to-be-released Pando, by Kate Allen Fox and Turine Tran. The word “Pando”, meaning “I spread” in Latin, is the name of an enormous quaking aspen grove in Utah containing more than 40,000 trees, which are all connected by a common root system, and together form one of the largest living things in the world.
The main text of the book, written in a beautiful, lyrical style, could be read on it’s own, or in combination with the extra facts at the bottom of each page. As well as learning about Pando itself, the reader also finds out about the threats that it faces due to environmental and human factors.
Soft, gentle illustrations of Pando above and below the ground help us to feel closer to this fascinating lifeform and better understand how it developed over time. The introduction of humans in the final pages brings home the message that we are responsible for taking care of the world we live in and are intricately connected with nature.
Back matter contains photos of Pando, a glossary of the most important terms mentioned in the book, advice for the reader on how they can help, and a bibliography.
This is a timely picture book about the environment, ecosystems and one very special grove in particular.
Pando will be released on 1st August 2021. Many thanks to Kate Allen Fox for a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
You can get hold of a copy by clicking one of the links below!