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What's Up, What's Down?

Press:Harpercollins Childrens Books Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (August 6, 2002)
Publication Date:2002-8
Author Name:Schaefer, Lola M./ Bash, Barbara (ILT)


Pretend you're a toad. 
Look up.
What do you see?Imagine you're a whale.
Look down.
What do you see?Now, come along on a picture book journey that invites you to see the world from many different perspectives.
Look up, down, and everywhere in between.
What do you see?

From Booklist

This interesting book gets off to an unusual start.
Turn it lengthwise to begin.
The directions tell children to follow the arrows as their eyes travel up and read from the bottom of the page to the top.
The next awkwardly phrased instruction says, "halfway through, turn the book around and let your eyes travel down, reading from top to bottom." Well, it becomes obvious when you do it.
On each page is the question "What's up if you're .
.?" from the viewpoint of various flora and fauna: a mole, a root, grass, a toad.
Sometimes kids will puzzle over the answer.
"What's up if you're a toad?" is "a sea of wildflowers," though children may expect water of some kind.
The highest thing "up" is the moon, and then it's time to turn the book upside down and move down through sky and water to see "what's down." Children will have a chance to stretch their imaginations as they get a rudimentary idea of how the natural world works.
The artwork, executed in chalks, has a muscular look that brings nature home.
Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

About the Author

Lola M. 
Schaefer is the author of several books for children, including An Island Grows; Pick, Pull, Snap! Where Once a Flower Bloomed, an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts; and What's Up, What's Down? She lives with her husband, Ted, in the mountains of north Georgia, where she occasionally observes the back end of a black bear, coyote, or gray fox.Barbara Bash is pictured here with the spadefoot toad that lived in her studio while she worked on this book.
The artist has written and illustrated a number of award-winning books on natural topics, including Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus.
She lives with her husband and son in the Hudson Valley of New York.


Children's Books,Animals,Science & Math

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Comment List (Total:2)

  •     I had to order multiple copies because it was such a hit! I love that the horizontal concept of reading is challenged by the vertical order of life.

  •     For a young child reading, or being read to, how fun to have the book in your hand suddenly shift gears in the middle where you find you have to turn the book upside down and go the other way! The illustrations are wonderful. The narrative will stimulate all sorts of conversations about the place of things on this earth as well as far below and far above the surface. A great book that will be read and enjoyed over and over again.


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