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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Star Seeker: A Journey to Outer Space

Star Seeker
A Journey to Outer Space
by Theresa Heine
illustrated by Victor Tavares

Universe, as much (or as little) as we know about it, is absolutely mind-blowing. No doubt about it.

Venturing farther from our own planet, into our solar system, out to our galaxy, past our neighboring nebulae and bright constellations, the book blends scientific facts with mythology and whimsy to present an amazing poetic tour of our universe.

I'll spin like a pinwheel
Through the Milky Way's froth,
Take a ride on the Great Bear
And never fall off.

While not the book to learn scientific facts from, a prior knowledge of facts makes the reading experience rich and rewarding. Knowing about Neptune's Great Dark Spot (storm) much like Jupiter's Great Red Spot, Venus's volcanoes and hot climate, the many moons of Jupiter, the mythological stories of the constellations like Orion and Pegasus, all help us enjoy the text with jaw-dropping wonder as we take this imaginary tour of the universe.

The illustrations are stunning! Absolutely inspiring. Rich colors and enchanting images with swirls and action depict movement and adventure in this journey of fantasy undertaken by a bespectacled boy and long-haired girl.

I'll steal Neptune's winds,
'Round his rings I will whirl;
Across his Dark Spot
Like a cyclone I'll swirl.

Back of the books presents space facts, brief, clear and concise, along with tidbits from Greek mythology and Native American traditions and ancient Egyptian beliefs.

Knowing that Uranus rolls rather than spins like the rest of the planets as it orbits the sun, reading the bold declaration of the girl

I'll seize blue Uranus,
Then teach him to fly;
Like a Frisbee I'll fling him
Across the night sky.

along with the gorgeous illustration that captures the coldness and remoteness and yet the determination of the little girl makes it both fascinating and engaging.

It is one of the favorite books in our bookshelf. For the last 2 years, the older child simply loved sitting with the book open to her favorite page and dreaming about the possibilities. Now, the younger one enjoys it just as much, adding his own objections like, "No she can't do that, she can't bake ginger cookies on Venus, she'll be burned before she gets to it" or "No, they can't follow the sun, why do they say that?", as he is too literal sometimes for this fanciful adventure.

I simply gaze at the illustrations, marveling at the talent and then sit back quietly awed by the author's clever poetry. Yet another Barefoot Books publication we have on our bookshelf that affirms my faith in them for presenting quality books for the children.

[image source: barefoot books]

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