I Am Smoke

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This is a picture book about the story of smoke and all its mystery and magic. It is made from water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ash, and it can help people or cause them harm. Humans have used smoke for centuries. The Huron farmers used it to sprout their pumpkin seeds. Ancient Greeks smoked out living spaces to drive away rodents and pests. Native Americans used it to signal each other over great distances, as did the people in Ancient China. Smoke is used in religious ceremonies to burn incense and in prayer, and beekeepers smoke bees so they can harvest honey.

In poetic prose, Hertz explains to young readers the many ways that smoke has shaped civilization. He also includes back matter that goes into additional detail about the cultures noted in the story and how they have used smoke. Lopez’s illustrations are haunting and creative, achieving a unique form of smoke impressions by suspending art paper over candle flames and then finishing the images using watercolors and Photoshop. It is a beautiful book that gives smoke a voice, one that is both playful and devious.

Reviewed By:

Author Henry Herz
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 36 pages
Publisher Tilbury House Publishers
Publish Date 07-Sep-2021
ISBN 9780884487883
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Issue September 2021
Category Children's