Written and Illustrated by Jason Chin
A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press. 2017
PreK and up
To write this review, I used an ARC (Advanced Readers’ Copy) that I received at ALAMidwinter2017
Grand Canyon, 277 miles long and one mile deep, is home to a large diversity of plants and animals. Chin states, Grand Canyon is mind-boggling old, has a rich cultural history, a fascinating ecology, and its geologic significance is second to none.” Even a life-time of study, the canyon is too big for any one person to know and see it all. In this dazzling informational picture book, Jason Chin offers readers a very detailed history of this natural wonder.
Starting at the Inner Gorge, at the bottom of the canyon, a father and daughter hike upward through the different elevations until they reach the top of the canyon.
Similar to his other beautifully illustrated books - a blend of factual text with fantasy-like images - here the large, detailed drawings depict a section along specific trails where Chin hiked on a visit. To help readers see what the narrative is explaining, Chin surrounds his text with exquisite drawings with borders that display rock layers to what inhabits each ecological community. In some spots, as the daughter makes her way up through the canyon layers, readers are taken to see what that exact spot might have looked like millions of years ago. For example, Grand Canyon Supergroup Trilobite fossils found on the Bright Angel Shale, which formed more than 200 million years ago, once lay beneath the sea. As the pair reach the top at the South Rim the pages open up to allow us to see a panoramic view of the South Rim. The view is breathtaking.
Ample backmatter gives more details on the history of Grand Canyon. Chin does acknowledge that parts of Grand Canyon National Park does lie within the borders of the Hualapai, Havasupai, and Navajo Indian Reservations and that the Canyon remains a place of cultural and spiritual importance to many the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, Paiute, Apache, Hualapai, and Havasupai.
Although the processes that carve canyons are understood, nobody knows exactly how Grand Canyon was carved. In fact, nobody even knows how old Grand Canyon is! There is recent evidence that other rivers started carving the canyon before the modern Colorado River. Also a bibliography of books, websites, and papers and books for further reading.
Fascinating and beautifully executed.
Thank you, Neal Porter, for so many wonderful artists.
For a glimpse at some of the illustrations, go here.