cover image Why Is Sky Up? CL

Why Is Sky Up? CL

Joyce Dunbar, James Dunbar. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-395-57580-2

The most popular word in the toddler vocabulary--``why''--gets a workout in this meager picture book offering. An inquisitive youngster asks his father a series of questions about the physical world around us, for example: ``Why is the moon so far away?'' Without hesitation, Dad delivers the response--and all his answers--in a reassuring tone: ``The moon is far away to make us wonder why. If the moon were near we might turn it into a parking lot.'' Unfortunately, the humorless philosophical musings Dad provides contain little if any factual information, and very young children, who hold all-knowing adults in highest esteem, may have trouble recognizing these explanations as absurd. The pale, lighthearted illustrations border on silliness, though they fail to convince the intended audience that the text should not be taken seriously. Curious children and stymied parents will be better served elsewhere. Ages 2-4. (Oct.)