A charming rhyming story that is not Einstein’s theory of relativity, but something just as important. Relativity is an engaging book designed to inspire children to start thinking comparatively and analytically.
School Library Journal
Smith introduces this complex concept through catchy rhythmical sequences, thereby making it appealing to the target audience. “The sky is high, the trees are low. The trees are high, the grass is low.” Even preschoolers will find the text amusing. The Spanish translation has the same poetic structure as the English, hence avoiding a literal translation without taking away the original elegance of the rhyming text. The engaging full-bleed illustrations offer a clear portrait of the comparisons made to explain relativity while the use of a large font is ideal to capture the attention of children. This book can be used by teachers and parents alike interested in awakening critical and analytical thinking in their kids. Additionally, this picture book could also enhance a storytime on opposites.
Young readers learn the thought-provoking concept of relativity in this children’s book! Don’t be deterred—this is not a scientific explanation. The rhyming story follows a young boy who is seeing the world in a way that each thing relates to another. The sky to the trees; the trees to the grass; the speed of a plane to the crawl of a snail. The delightful prose is accompanied by a unique visual—a slightly hazy illustration in relation to the clarity of the text. Although the title “Relativity” may at first seem advanced for children, the book goes into detail to simplify the explanation of the concept. Children may not pick up on the theory after the first read, but the content can spark conversation at home or in a classroom. Children will come to appreciate the lesson taught in this book, and will likely recognize the theory of relativity when engaging in their own world. What’s the relation of this charming story to children’s literature? One unique, fun and informative book that stands out among others!
Critical thinking skills are vital for success in today’s world. Much of the text on handheld devices, computers, and online search engines minimizes the need to connect the dots, to recall knowledge, and push beyond the obvious. Michael Smith addresses this in his new children’s book, Relativity/Relatividad.
Can critical thinking skills and focus be taught, by what method, and at what age can the process begin? Relativity/Relatividad is a clear and fun lesson that wrangles these complicated topics to a workable and enjoyable method for learning. The text on each page of compares and contrasts near and far, slow and fast, and so on.
Once presented, however, the author emphasizes that there are no extremes or hard-and-fast rules—instead there is relativity. Smith charges the reader with finding out what relativity is and follows up with, “There is no high, there is no low, just levels of something taller or below.”
Lush illustrations by Octavio Oliva move the story along, providing the perfect amount of visual stimulation to keep children engaged from start to finish; warm, friendly, encompassing, they’re a refreshing departure from the anime or superhero styles of many children’s books today.