Atkins, Marcie Flinchum. Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature. Non-fiction. Millbrook/Lerner, 09/2019. pp. $27.99. 978-1-5415-6192-2. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-2.
Don’t miss this well-executed non-fiction book for older preschool to second graders about a rarely discussed concept, dormancy in living things. The minimal yet carefully crafted text focuses on maple trees, ladybugs, Arctic ground squirrels, chickadees, alligators, and earthworms, all species that go dormant either for a season, overnight, or until climate conditions become tolerable again. Each descriptive passage describing the lead up to an organism going dormant ends with the statement, “You would pause.” This is followed by a spread showing how dormancy ends. The photos are large, exquisitely clear, and illustrate the seldom seen phenomena, a dormant chickadee perched on a snowy twig or the frost covered ladybugs on the cover. Although it is not explained how dormancy is different from sleep, a question that children (and adults) will certainly have, this book is a whole package; the back matter adds succinct definitions, and the bibliography contains interesting and useful sources. Emma Coleman, Berkeley Public Library