Caves by Nell Cross Beckerman, illustrated by Kalen Chock

Published by Orchard Books

Summary:  Addressing the reader in the second person (“You want to go in…do you dare?”), the book introduces different features of caves, then shows unusual examples of each one in seven caves around the world.  There’s the Cueva de Los Cristales in Mexico, filled with 39-foot crystals that had to be pumped dry for people to explore. And the Bracken Cave in Texas, summer home to twenty million bats.  The realistic illustrations convey the magnitude of the caves, often showing how small the human explorers are in comparison.  Includes notes from the author and illustrator, lists of cave rules and spelunking equipment, and more fun facts about three of the caves.  40 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  The poetic text and gorgeous illustrations combine to make a nonfiction book that invites readers on an adventure, in the spirit of Candace Fleming’s Giant Squid or Jason Chin’s Grand Canyon.  I’d love to see this get some Siebert Award recognition.

Cons:  I wish that there were more fun facts about all of the caves mentioned in the book, not just three.

2 thoughts on “Caves by Nell Cross Beckerman, illustrated by Kalen Chock

  1. I’m anxious to read this. I just started a course with Nell, Writing Nature with All 5 Senses, at the Storyteller Academy. Terrific!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s