ONCE UPON A STAR by James Carter


A Poetic Journey Through Space
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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The universe in a nutshell: “A mighty BOOM / a huge KERRANG / that scientists call / THE BIG BANG!”

Hernández’s semi-abstract illustrations are the stars of the show—bold visual statements founded on big shapes, dramatic silhouettes or contrasts, and deep-space fields through which swim clouds of stylized stars. In later scenes our local star seems almost lambent as it shines down on earthly flora and fauna. Carter’s metrics are less stellar, but his cosmology serves well enough as he takes young readers out to view the stars, then explains the explosive origins of space, time, and our very own sun, how planets formed, and how at last on Earth “life swam, crawled, flew.” Channeling Carl Sagan, he concludes “We’re from that star / that seems so far. / We’re made of stardust, / yes, we are. / So, what are you? / YOU’RE A STAR!” He rounds off his poetic flight by laying out the sun’s past and probable future in a list of factual “Sciencey Stuff” arranged as an acrostic. Three children, one white, two with different shades of brown skin, appear in the final scenes.

The right “stuff” for young readers who have wondered about the stars and about their place in space. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-57933-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018


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