NONFICTION

The Big Bang Book

Creston. Apr. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781939547644.
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PreS-Gr 3–Stahl offers a contemplative yet informative examination of the Big Bang. With brief text and mixed-media illustration that are strategically shadowy or explosively bright, scientific knowledge is shared in direct conversation with readers. The narrative begins with a child wearing space-themed pajamas and gazing at the night sky, then delves into facts about galaxies and stars accompanied by artwork featuring whorls of colorful light. The story’s focus returns to the child in their bed (reading The Big Bang Book) accompanied by the text, “And on that planet is you. And everyone else.” The author, a doctoral student in astrophysics, ends the book with a note acknowledging the gaps in scientific knowledge while also sharing detailed mathematical and astronomical facts about the universe.
VERDICT In a crowded field of Earth-origin and evolution stories for children, this is well worth a look for its simple, but not vague, approach to the topic. Alongside Marion Dane Bauer’s and Ekua Holmes’s poetic The Stuff of Stars, it will awaken young readers’ curiosity.

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