Grand Canyon

Jason Chin. Roaring Brook/Porter, $19.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-59643-950-4
Chin (Island: A Story of the Galapagos) packs the geologic history of the Grand Canyon into a stunningly illustrated story of a magical father-daughter hike. The duo’s daylong trek out of the magnificent landform becomes a journey through time, as discoveries along the trail transport the girl to various eras in the canyon’s creation. A prosaic narrative of facts follows their ascent (“Above the basement layer, you’ll reach the Grand Canyon Supergroup”), while, at each new rock layer, the girl notices a fossil or other anomaly through a small die-cut hole. Turning the page, readers find her transported across epochs: a trilobite fossil turns into its living namesake as the surprised girl finds herself floating in an ancient sea. Vignettes of flora and fauna from different elevations frame scenes of the hike, as do explanatory sidebars about how rock layers and fossils form. With narrow white borders, the already-realistic ink-and-watercolor illustrations resemble photographs, evoking a scrapbook, and a concluding gatefold opens to reveal an awe-inspiring panoramic portrait of the Grand Canyon near sunset. Endnotes to this multilayered, thorough, and ingeniously assembled primer offer additional ecologic, geologic and anthropologic information. Ages 7–12. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016
Release date: 02/21/2017
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