An imaginative tale and an informal astronomy lesson rolled into one book.
Nova the star eater eats any star in sight: supergiants, white dwarfs, blue giants, binaries, you name it. On her way through space, she gulps Earth’s sun, creating panic on the planet. The leaders of the world gather and dispatch their “best astronauts” to get their sun back. They plead with Nova: “The people on Earth need it to survive! The Sun provides energy for plants to grow, light so we can see, and heat to keep us warm.” Back on Earth, leaders and scientists discuss how best to get the sun out of Nova when (slightly out of the blue) the (female) leader of the United States’ daughter, a bright, young, brown-skinned girl, speaks into a microphone: “We could tickle her.” Nova agrees, and so, using the ocean waves and treetops and aided by a spaceship’s robotic arm, the Earth proceeds to tickle Nova. Leslie’s narrative is somewhat arbitrary and clunky but will still entertain readers. Kim’s illustrations incorporate vibrant colors when depicting the solar system, while humans back on Earth are rendered in taupe, browns, and greens (earth tones, appropriately enough). Seeing men and women leaders from around the globe and astronauts of various shades is wonderfully refreshing. An author’s note on the science behind the story punctuates the book; a small glossary is also provided for inquisitive young readers.
A playful read for outer-space enthusiasts. (bibliography) (Picture book. 4-8)