A small boy and his father take an evening walk in this Swedish import first published in 1998 but only now translated and published in the United States.
Dad thinks it’s time to show his son the universe. They put on warm socks and get provisions (chewing gum), then walk past the closing shops into the night air to a field the boy recognizes as a place where folks walk their dogs. The boy sees the universe in a snail, a blade of grass, a thistle, but his father wants him to look up. Stars! His father knows all their names and holds the boy up to see the ancient light from stars long gone—and steps into something left by a dog. “So how was the universe?” asks the boy’s mom. “It was beautiful,” he replies. “And funny.” The winsome illustrations perfectly capture the pull and tug of high philosophy and low humor (stepping in dog poo is the quintessential early-grade chuckle, after all). The boy’s voice captures how badly he wants to please his father, how thoroughly he is enchanted by the smallest things, how keenly he notices just what kids notice: steam coming from his father’s mouth in the cold, his father’s whistling to help them walk.
Gentle humor pervades this father-son tale in the nicest way. (Picture book. 4-9)