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COMETS, STARS, THE MOON, AND MARS by Douglas Florian Kirkus Star


Space Poems and Paintings

by Douglas Florian illustrated by & Douglas Florian

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-15-205372-7
Publisher: Harcourt

Stunning mixed-media illustrations accompany a series of poems that celebrate the wonder and mystery of space. From the universe, the sequence narrows its focus to the galaxy, the solar system and then each body in turn, from the sun to poor demoted Pluto, and beyond. The verse is characteristically playful, wrapping itself around astronomical facts with ease. Readers will learn about the temperature and size of the sun, our moon’s phases and Voyager 2’s discovery of Neptune’s rings. Delightful as the poems are, however, it’s this volume’s illustrations that surpass. Bright gouache on brown paper bags lend texture to each spread; stamped words allow the illustrations to incorporate such details as names of moons and “sun” in several different languages; collage elements add further whimsy to the whole. To top off this feast for the eyes, occasional die-cuts provide telescopic windows onto adjoining spreads, firmly establishing for the reader the truth that space is a vast continuum, with new surprises in every corner of the sky. Each poem receives a thumbnail gloss at the end, offering additional facts or extending the information presented earlier. Glorious. (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)