Review by Booklist Review
It's not every illustrator who can depict bunnies, moles, and grubs with an almost equal charm, but so Fleming does in this winning, factual look at life down under, from its teeming burrows and furrows to its squirm-ways and worm-ways. Simple rhyming text invites readers into the often-ignored realm: Low down. / Way down. / Under ground. / Creatures dig / and run around. Full-spread illustrations in Fleming's pulp-painting style bring the insects and animals of the subterranean world and the occasional lost tool or toy to the fore with cutaway views of the complex system of roots, nests, tunnels, and bustling action just below the earth's surface, including not only the expected chipmunks, earthworms, and ant colonies but also lesser-known cicada nymphs and wolf spiders. Juxtaposing the doings below are aboveground activities centered around a boy and his dog playing, helping to plant a cherry tree, and harvesting vegetables on a sunny day. A Creature Identification page adds further value by detailing all of the subsurface critters in the illustrations.--McKulski, Kristen Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this evocative ode to nature, Fleming returns to the backyard turf of In the Tall, Tall Grass and In the Small, Small Pond, but digs deeper-literally-to explore the teeming life found "Low down./ Way down./ Under ground." In some ways, the book functions as a pared-down summertime companion to Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal's Over and Under the Snow (2011): Fleming's scenes simultaneously depict what's underneath and just above the ground; created via her trademark "pulp painting" process, the spreads have a marbled texture, and are rendered in bright sky blues, vibrant grassy greens, and the warm brown-reds of soil. Spiders and salamanders scamper on rocks and between blades of grass, pink earthworms and a chubby toad navigate "Squirm-ways and worm-ways" in the dirt, a fox peeks from an underground den, and ants march through tunnels. All the while, a curious boy watches the activity and tends to his plants. Fleming's luminous scenes invite close inspection and creature-spotting, and a key at book's end contains facts on more than 20 featured animals. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Bursting with her signature bold color and textured pulp paintings, Fleming's latest tour de force affords an immersion into the backyard world below our feet. Economical and descriptive, the rhythmic text pairs with cross-section illustrations of the myriad creatures that burrow, dig, and tunnel their way underneath the earth's surface. Revealed amid the nests and tunnels, too, are other (and oft amusing) forms of subterranean deposits: seeds, root vegetables, old tools, keys, dog bones. Young readers will spot a connecting narrative arc in the artwork as a young boy helps plant and water a new cherry tree. An illustrated "Creature Identification" index is appended, offering concise information about the underground habits of the wildlife. A first-rate picture book on every level and made-to-order for group sharing, this title reveals the fascinating "squirm-ways and worm-ways" found in the natural world.-Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Fleming invites youngsters to observe underground creatures, large and small, as well as their tunnels, burrows, food sources, and activities. The story begins with a robin, high in a tree, swooping down to catch a tasty worm. Double-page spreads then show cross-sections of a garden, both above and below ground -- in addition to the busy place at the surface where the two intersect. Flemings rhyming text is spare ("Low down. / Way down. / Under ground. / Creatures dig / and run around") and occasionally elliptical; while the few words on the pages may compel readers to flip quickly through the book, the gorgeous images invite lingering contemplation. Flemings pulp-painting collage illustrations are rich with texture and color: soft green leaves, fuzzy white roots, and grainy brown soil. The pages hum with life and activity. Mammals, plants, insects, and rodents are all featured, with each growing and moving; theres not a still moment in the book (or in the natural setting) to be found. An appended "Creature Identification" spread shows thumbnails of a selection of the animals (not all of them are included) along with brief paragraphs about how they use underground space. Kids who spend time with this book will want to get their hands dirty to investigate for themselves what life is like for these fascinating underground creatures. ashley waring (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The earth beneath children's feet is teeming with activity if only they look. In this engaging backyard exploration, the art provides a narrative frame: A boy and his dog are planting a tree. Brief, rhythmic text invites youngsters to examine the labyrinth "[l]ow down. / Way down. / Under ground." Fleming's pulp-painting technique is used to best advantage to capture the textures of coarse dirt, pebbles, roots and tunnels, and every page-turn offers full-spread cutaway views. Perspectives shift from a robin gazing from a tree to the ground, the earth's surface and then below. The bird pulls a worm from its hole, ants crawl, grubs lie snug, and carrots grow sturdy and straight. In turn, a rabbit munches contentedly while a mole passes underneath. Other spreads depict yellow jackets, chipmunks and the dog burying its bone. Inventive language introduces readers to "[s]quirm-ways / and worm-ways." Children who look closely will also find those lost treasures that are always so much fun to dig up--a key, a coin, a toy car and more. In a satisfying conclusion, the tree has been planted, carrots picked, and the text circles back to where it began: "Low down. / Way down. / Under ground." A spread entitled Creature Identification provides more information about each of the critters, completing the book. Validation for every kid who's ever picked up a trowel to explore the wonders underground. (Picture book. 2-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.