Meanwhile Back on Earth: Finding Our Place Through Time and Space

Philomel. Oct. 2022. 64p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780593621523.
PreS-Gr 2–A father takes his children on a road trip through the cosmos with Earth’s history in the rearview mirror in this entertaining look at our place in the universe. As siblings battle it out in the back seat, Dad suggests a detour; in the blink of an eye, the family sports spacesuits and points their car towards the moon. Adjusting the mirror, Dad notes that “it’s important to keep checking the mirror to see what we’re up to back on Earth.” Jeffers masterfully captures the universe’s vastness while playfully humanizing space by making it a family trip destination, complete with a chatty parent pointing out sights along the way, an I Spy game during the 5,000-year drive to Uranus, and a gleeful coast along Saturn’s rings. The artwork puts readers in the driver’s seat, where they see the dark expanse of space with brightly colored planets set off against the black background. These views alternate with historical moments that include whimsical characters from Jeffers’s previous books What We’ll Build and Here We Are.
VERDICT A first purchase for all collections.

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