Grand Canyon / by Jason Chin. 10.12.2018

Roaring Brook Press ISBN 9781596439504

INT Grades 3-5 Rating: 5

Using a narrative of a girl and her father hiking throughout the canyon, going from present day to the past and back again, Jason Chin’s Grand Canyon presents information appealing to the imagination of third to fifth graders. The journey enables children to understand how rivers wind through earth, eroding the soil for millions of year, creating what is the Grand Canyon, a cavity 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep. The illustrations in this 2018 Caldecott Honor Book add a lot to the narrative by capturing the feel of this high desert landscape and each elevation’s own ecological zone.

The breathtaking walk covers an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived within its walls for millennia. In Chin’s illustrations, one grasps many details about geology, geography, and biology. A double foldout clearly offers testimony that the Grand Canyon is much more than a big hole in the ground.

Along the way, children also gain an appreciation for Southwestern biomes, sedimentary geology, and the discoveries to be made in observing and being close to nature. Chin provides further notes and illustrations covering the canyon’s history, ecology, human settlement, and geology in the closing section of the book.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ