On a broad, continuous, accordion-folded strip tucked between oversize covers, an excursion from the Earth’s surface to the far reaches of the solar system and back.
Beginning and ending with the dark-skinned, green-eyed child on the cover, Zommer’s painted illustrations lead readers’ eyes upward past high-rise buildings and through the atmosphere’s layers to the International Space Station, then on beyond to the moon and the planets. Then, after pausing to regard the distant stars and the Milky Way, the journey back allows glimpses of comets and meteoroids, types of clouds, migrating birds of several species, mountain sheep, and swooping hang gliders before coming to rest on a grassy hilltop. The artist adds details aplenty to spot along the way, from paper airplanes and space telescopes to small human figures (in the terrestrial scenes) with, mostly, brown or solid black faces. Printed in undulating clusters of type that suggest flowing winds and rounded orbits, Gullain’s narrative reads with natural ease from bottom to top up to the midway point, then descends—tallying wonders while pointing out street signs and window cleaners, a cutaway Soyuz capsule, each planet, and other details as it goes and also keeping track of heights and distances.
A soaring imaginary journey for young readers wondering about their places in space. (atmosphere chart) (Informational novelty. 6-10)