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Beyond
Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space
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Journey far beyond our solar system and explore the marvels of interstellar space. A wonder-filled poem and spectacular illustrations bring readers across the observable universe to encounter dwarf...
Journey far beyond our solar system and explore the marvels of interstellar space. A wonder-filled poem and spectacular illustrations bring readers across the observable universe to encounter dwarf...
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  • Journey far beyond our solar system and explore the marvels of interstellar space. A wonder-filled poem and spectacular illustrations bring readers across the observable universe to encounter dwarf planets, black holes, brand-new stars, and other incredible phenomena. Award-winning author Miranda Paul and illustrator Sija Hong present a fresh and fascinating journey to the outer reaches of outer space.

About the Author-

  • Miranda Paul is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children, including One Plastic Bag and Boston Globe–Horn Book Honoree Nine Months Before a Baby Is Born. Miranda is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and serves as its mentorship chair. Learn more at mirandapaul.com.

Reviews-

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2021
    Grades K-3 In lyrical verse, Paul introduces readers to the wonders of interstellar space, including the Kuiper belt, the Oort cloud, the Milky Way, the Helix Nebula, the Orion Nebula, Sagittarius A*, the Virgo Cluster, and more. Each spread contains a stanza celebrating a particular entity. "A swarm of icy bodies--some as big as mountains-- / forms a cloudy border around our cosmic village" begins her description of the Oort cloud, for example. Throughout, she emphasizes the marvels of these celestial bodies rather than specific facts, although a few figures are inserted into orb-shaped sidebars within the illustrations. Hong's digital artwork has an ethereal quality and flows from page to page, somewhat like tie-dye in process. Using a palette of blues and purples, accented in roses and greens, she deftly depicts dwarf planets, black holes, and dying stars; her use of light and dark is particularly effective. While this will not serve the needs of report writers, it makes a beautiful introduction to primary units on space. Appended with generous back matter.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2021
    Poems celebrate astronomical subjects while illustrations hint at them. Moving from Earth's relatively nearby neighbors to the edge of the observable universe, dreamy meanderings attempt to evoke the wonder of the cosmos. The text looks like verse but reads like prose; it would work well as narration from a dramatic planetarium guide. Some sentences slide smoothly off the tongue: "The frigid glitter of a trillion comets / zooms in a cosmic ring." Others frustrate any attempts to find deliberate rhythm: "Dwarf planets with tiny moons and atmospheres that freeze and fall / bring action and excitement." More abstract than realistic, illustrations combine textures, washes, dots, and curlicues in contrasting shades of white, black, and purple. The effect, though occasionally clunky, is luminous and interesting. Informative labels appear alongside poetic descriptions of stars and galaxies, giving their names and distances from Earth. Though helpful, these captions occupy colored circles that disrupt the art. It's hard to know what to make of one confusing double-page spread that features a haphazard smattering of three stanzas and five accompanying labels. Six pages of endmatter offer facts and details about the celestial bodies that inspired the poetry, pitched at readers who understand basic astronomy but won't be bothered by oversimplifications like "clouds that rain rubies and sapphires." A cute section gives "our cosmic address" in a hypothetical universal postal format. An ambitious effort--but overall a puzzler. (further information, author's note, illustrator's note, further reading, selected bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-11)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2021

    Gr 1-3-This title provides a poetic trip into the universe and well beyond our solar system. The poetic language is appealing, but it's unlikely that it would be understood by the target audience-primary grade children. Older readers would also need a great deal of background information about the universe to understand the text. Lines such as "The frigid glitter of a trillion comets/ zooms in a cosmic ring./ Dwarf planets with tiny moons and atmospheres that freeze and fall/ bring action and excitement" raise more questions than they answer. The text lacks the informational components to help readers understand what is being described and illustrated. The back matter provides clarifying information, but it is unlikely to be understood by young readers. Also, it is hard to know which informative paragraph corresponds to which page. The colorful illustrations are mysterious and luminous, but could also leave readers with questions. VERDICT The artwork and the poetic language are intriguing, but this book requires much more background information than most, if not all, children possess.-Myra Zarnowski, City Univ. of New York

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Horn Book Magazine

    "Paul's (Nine Months, rev. 5/19) resonant verse examines phenomena in the far reaches of the universe, 'Stretching the limits / of what we can detect / (but not what we can imagine).' The familiar planets of our solar system, presented in an extended prologue before the title page, are an appetizer for the spectacular illustrations and awe-filled verse that portray and describe distant nebulae, black holes, exoplanets, and star clusters. Readers are invited to observe the characteristics of each and wonder about its formation, such as that of the Virgo supercluster: 'Thousands of swirls and spirals / have already accepted their invitation to this thirteen-billion-year-old campfire. / Dark matter lures the speckled crowd like an intergalactic host.' Scientific explanations provided in the back matter ('Beyond the Poems') are equally awe-inspiring, tantalizing readers with concepts such as dark energy, life on other planets, and the multiverse. Hong's creative, dynamic digital illustrations explode across the double-page spreads, using deep-space black backgrounds and contrasting bright-white space imagery but embellished with colored beams, arcs, stars, dots, and diamonds that are simultaneously mathematical and magical. Also appended are author and illustrator notes and a bibliography."—The Horn Book Magazine

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