THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD by Allan Wolf
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THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD

Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Poems about stars, planets, moons, and other astronomical wonders, accompanied by stylish anthropomorphic illustrations.

Opening with a “Solar Sunnet” (“Next time you want to wish upon a star, / you need not even wait for night to fall”) and a spectacularly silly “Moon Buffet” (“Ophelia’s made of tacos / and Europa’s made of Spam”), this versified tour of the solar system and beyond offers both astronomical and metrical delights. Of the latter, Wolf’s frequent use of multiple voices (cued by lines in different colors) plays to fine effect in zippy exclamations by three shooting stars from the Perseid shower, the measured strains of tidally locked Pluto and Charon as they whirl in a stately do-si-do, and an effervescent rap on astronomical distances: “They call us DJ Energy / and MC Square! / Physics is our business. / We’re a relative pair.” Raff puts faces, generally with goofy expressions, on nearly all of the cartoonish heavenly bodies she depicts posing against starry backdrops, including both light- and dark-skinned human figures in some scenes. The author unpacks select facts and concepts on each poem in closing notes, and he also identifies his meter, poetic type, and any literary references. His comment on the title poem’s climax is a cogent one: “If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will eventually.”

A giddy ride through our stellar neighborhood and beyond. (glossary, URLs) (Picture book/poetry. 7-13)

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8025-1
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019




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