Child of the Universe by Ray Jayawardhana, illustrated by Raul Colón

Published by Make Me a World

Child of the Universe: Jayawardhana, Ray, Colón, Raul ...

Child of the Universe: Jayawardhana, Ray, Colón, Raul ...

Summary:  As a girl is getting ready for bed, she and her father look out at the moon.  “The universe conspired to make you,” he tells her, then goes on to compare her to the beauty and majesty of the universe: her hair swirls about her face like the Milky Way, she lights up the room like the sun lights the moon, and the cosmos are reflected in her eyes.  He gives more concrete examples as well, like the fact that the iron and calcium in her blood and bones comes from stars that lived long ago.  On the last page, she gets tucked into bed, and looks out at the moon smiling back at her.  Includes an author’s note that tells of the strong connections to the cosmos that are part of Earth and humanity.  40 pages; ages 3-7.

Pros:  The gorgeous illustrations showing the girl traveling through the cosmos are worthy of Caldecott consideration.  Their brilliant, yet slightly muted colors fill every inch of each two-page spread.  Young scientists will be amazed to learn the science that connects them to the universe.

Cons:  If you’re going to use rhyming text, it has to be really, really good, and this isn’t quite there.  Jayawardhana, a dean at Cornell University who has researched planetary systems and the prospect for life on other planets, seems more comfortable writing his author’s note. 

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