Kirkus Reviews - Soar High, Dragonfly
Kirkus Reviews (Jan 2019)
A circular account of a dragonfly’s life span told simultaneously as a narrative and a collection of scientific facts. The creative duo behind Good Trick, Walking Stick (2016) returns to the insect world. Readers follow the life cycle of a green darner dragonfly, from its mother laying eggs to fertilizing its own before leaving to “find warmer days” elsewhere. The primary text, set in a relatively large font, relates the development of a particular dragonfly in a preschool-friendly manner with simple sentences, sound effects, and a rhythmic refrain—"Oh my, a baby dragonfly!"—that varies the first few syllables with each repetition. Supplementary text is in smaller, multicolored type and gives a factual description of the species, complete with vocabulary definitions and fourth-wall-breaking questions to encourage inquisitive thought: “Do you think that the nymph looks like a dragonfly?” Blocks of this text are tucked into the corners of spreads, so younger readers can choose to skim them over while older or inquisitive readers can learn more about the natural world. Unfortunately, there is no informative backmatter to further help them on their way. Lambert places marbled colors à la Eric Carle against a plain, mostly white background. The result is a rich vibrancy that makes the book and its insect protagonist delightfully attractive. Dynamic colors and textual versatility make for a quality nonfiction read.