A handsome, tightly constructed exploration of our solar system, galaxy and beyond.
Here, poetically described, are many of the denizens of our galaxy, our friends the moons of fire, the asteroids of gold, star nurseries, supernovae, cosmic lighthouses, brown dwarfs—all rendered in near-photorealistic artwork by Garlick. Along with the illustrations’ phantasmagoric colors, Goldsmith’s text keeps readers’ attention with just the right amount of information and a little frisson of spooky pleasure added in: “Out here at the cold edge of the solar system, strange, dark worlds of ice and rock drift slowly by on their centuries-long journey around the distant Sun—a star that is no more than a bright spark in the black sky.” The author ventures ever deeper into the universe, but for the most part sticks to our galaxy, which is a strange enough space. Every now and then readers might wish for a colossal image from the Hubble or other deep-space probe, but small windows mostly do the trick, as with the photo of our galactic heart, with its breathtaking, uncountable populations of yellow, white, blue and red stars. Garlick is no slouch in the eye-pop department. Included are a very helpful glossary and a website resource guide.
Should keep any young sky watcher enthralled, and the text, despite its fleetness, provides plenty of illumination of the deep-space dark. (Nonfiction. 8-14)