________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007


Who Likes the Sun? (Exploring the Elements).

Etta Kaner. Illustrated by Marie Lafrance.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-55337-840-2.

Subject Heading:
Sun-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Reece Steinberg.

*** /4



I like the sun because I can play shadow tag.

I wonder why I have a shadow.

You have a shadow when your body blocks sunlight from reaching the ground. This happens because the sun can't shine through you.

When the sun is high in the sky, your shadow is short.

When the sun is low in the sky, your shadow is long.


Who Likes the Sun? begins as a boy, followed by a small dog, rides a scooter on to the page and asks, "Who likes the sun?" The empty park, towards which the boy rides, is transformed when readers lift the flap. Suddenly the park is swarming with children climbing trees, playing ball and hanging out. A chorus of voices answer the boy's question, "I do!"

     Who Likes the Sun? is part of the "Exploring the Elements" series of books in which children ask questions about the weather. Each child's question is answered in detail behind a large flap. Preceding the question is a statement by the child of why s/he likes an effect of the element.

     The writing in this book is upbeat and captures the inquisitiveness of many children. The questions and answers are creative, covering a wide range of effects the sun has on people and their environment. Children who wonder about the world will be interested to learn how grapes turn into raisins, why the water sparkles and how sunglasses work, to name a few topics. As the book answers each query, it offers additional interesting information which may cause young readers to think of their own questions. The writing is clear and concise. The questions and "I like" statements are in large print, appropriate for beginning readers. The answers are slightly more complicated, and suitable for readers who have a little more experience.

internal art      The small and interactive format of Who Likes the Sun? (7" x 7") makes it a good choice for an intimate read with one or two children.

      The pictures in this book are laid out nicely; there are "action shots" of children playing, contemplative children smelling flowers or in a boat, and large close-ups of smiling faces. Like other books of this series, the pictures include children with various colours of skin and one child racing in a wheelchair. The settings reflect Canada's diversity as both urban and rural scenes are portrayed, and there are a flat landscape, a maritime landscape and many scenes with rolling hills. The style of illustration and muted colours may be a little too mature for the audience for which this book is intended, but the dynamic scenes help to overcome this difficulty.

      The small book comes to an end nicely with our friend on the scooter from the first page asking "What do you like about the sun?"


Reece Steinberg, a librarian at Vancouver Public Library, currently works in the Business & Science, and Virtual Reference divisions. Reece likes the sun, but he rarely gets to see it at this time of year.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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