cover image MY LIGHT


Molly Bang, . . Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-48961-4

With the carefully honed prose and wholly original visual imagination that have long been her hallmarks, Bang (When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry... ) explores the many ways in which the sun's light is transformed into the energy that fuels almost everything on the earth. Children will like the voice: the speaker is the sun ("your golden star"). The energy from "my light" becomes the book's recurring visual motif: Bang visualizes it as undulating necklaces of golden, effervescent dots that travel through space, pulsate through power lines and wind in and out of generators. Each sequence of spreads examines a form and function of the sun's energy. Bang explains how sunlight drives the water cycle, creating rain that carries "my energy down, down, down" via rivers to a dam ("You humans stop the flow. My energy is trapped.... Whoosh! The water spins the turbines round and round. It spins my energy to generators, which make electricity"). Page after page of compelling images illuminate the drama of the text: a jungle brought to life by photosynthesis; a parade of soaring, buzzing power lines, standing against a purple-gray sky, cleaved by lightning. In the lengthy but spirited afterword (readers are referred to the author's Web site for even more information), Bang notes that although she had little prior interest in energy, her fascination grew the more she delved into the subject. Youngsters should find her enthusiasm electrifying. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)