Award-winning author and illustrator Lisa Campbell Ernst takes a closer look at the great outdoors as she celebrates young children's inquisitiveness about the world around them. Ernst describes the inner workings of acorns, bubbles, puddles, ants, wagons, clouds, and birds in detailed, yet easy-to-understand language. Her meticulous and cleverly labeled drawings inventively illustrate the functioning of everyday objects.

From The New York Times:

Another appealing nonfiction book, “How Things Work in the Yard,” also caters to children’s fascination with their immediate surroundings. Lisa Campbell Ernst approaches backyard miscellany as if they were mechanical objects, asking, just as a child might, “How does an acorn work?” “How does a rock work?” “How does dirt work?” Ernst’s layouts achieve an artfully composed balance between busyness and clarity, offering plenty to interest young readers without confusing them. The paper-cutout illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the text blends straightforward information and whimsical asides. A page on dandelions not only illustrates the stages in a dandelion’s life, but also compares the parts of an open seed head to parachutes, explains how to make a flower chain and includes a rabbit, eater of dandelion leaves.

Summer readers will especially enjoy pages about dirt to dig in, hoses to uncoil and sprinklers to dash through, all wonderful things that require little explanation but are that much more fun thus illuminated.


  • 40 pages
  • 8 x 9 inches
  • children ages 4-8
  • 4 colors
  • Unjacketed hardcover

Rights available for...

  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Portuguese (Europe)
  • Dutch
  • French
  • Spanish

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