|Child of the universe|
Author: Jayawardhana, Ray
A renowned astrophysicist's lyrical meditation on the preciousness of one child and the vastness of the universe.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/20)
School Library Journal (02/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 PreS-Gr 4—This beguiling bedtime tale at once explores a child's place in the universe and in a loving parent's heart. Acclaimed astrophysicist Jayawardhana's lyrical text underscores the intersection of science and wonder, the intimate and the expansive, the familiar and the unknown. Gazing out the window at bedtime, a girl's father tells her that she is made of stars: "The universe conspired to make you…/Just like the sun gives shine to the moon,/you light up the world beyond this room." Colón's eye-dazzling mixed-media paintings majestically convey the grand ideas, effortlessly pivoting from depictions of celestial skyscapes to close-up images of a nightgown-garbed girl with flowing black curls and twinkling eyes. One spread shows a midnight-blue silhouette of the child—her body filled with bright-hued renditions of the long-ago stars that now make up the "iron in your blood, the calcium in your bones"—set against an abstract background that could be viewed as microscopic body cells or a broad image of a sun. Worlds seem to coalesce and collide ("Your atoms spin like Saturn's rings./You are a part of everything"), as stylized atoms dance above the girl in a dreamy planetary panorama, appear like tiny henna tattoos on her arm, or become giant-sized enough for her to float through. All of these astral wanderings and wonderings are brought home with a cozy conclusion, as the girl's father tucks her into bed beneath a smiling moon. VERDICT This lovely picture book can spark interest in scientific exploration, create awareness of our connection to the cosmos, and encourage dreamers to embark on their own journeys of imagination.—Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2020 In this debut picture book, scientist Jayawardhana brings home the fact that we are, quite literally, made of stardust. Framed by a young girl’s father telling her she is made of the stars, the story takes a turn for the metaphysical as the girl reflects on how her traits mirror those of the universe. Her presence illuminates like the sun; her wavy hair undulates like the Milky Way. In addition to the metaphorical love of a father for his daughter, there is the science of it all. Iron in our blood comes from ancient stars; the atoms in our bodies spin in emulation of ringed Saturn. The simplicity of the text is brilliantly upheld by Colón’s spectacular colored-pencil illustrations. The wordless spreads are particularly compelling for their swaths and curlicues of rich colors depicting cosmic wonders such as solar flares, atomic structures, and ocean waves—all coexisting naturally on the pages. Extensive back matter by the author explains the science behind our cosmic composition. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.