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BOOK REVIEW: Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv, illustrated by Susanna Chapman

| 8 September 2021 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv, illustrated by Susanna Chapman

Mit Kids Press
September 2021
Hardcover, $29.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Children’s Picture Books / Space / Educational

75% Rocking


Stargazers rejoice! In his first book for children, renowned physicist Alan Lightman and collaborators, with help from the Hubble telescope, light up the night sky.

New York Times best-selling author Alan Lightman, in collaboration with Olga Pastuchiv, brings galaxies close in a stunning picture-book tribute to the interconnectedness of the natural world. Layering photographs taken from the Hubble telescope into charming and expressive art, illustrator Susanna Chapman zooms in on one child’s experiences: Ada knows that the best place for star-gazing is on the island in Maine where she vacations with her grandparents. By day, she tracks osprey in the trees, paddles a kayak, and hunts for shells. But she’s most in her element when the sun goes down and the stars blink to life.

Will the fog this year foil her plans, or will her grandfather find a way to shine a spotlight on the vast puzzle of the universe . . . until the weather turns?



For fans of looking up at the stars and imagining what might be out there in the universe, this is a beautiful book!

Ada’s impatience to look up at the stars after waiting so long will speak to most of us… to the kids who have been made to wait for something they really love, to the adults looking after those kids, and to the kids inside of all of us who have been disappointed by things getting in the way of our long-awaited joy.

“But where are the stars? I’ve waited a very long time.”
“I’m really sorry,” says Ama. It seems that fog has rolled in. The weather people said the fog will be here until tomorrow.”
“Maybe they’re wrong,” says Ada.
“Sometimes they are,” says Poobah, laughing. “I have an idea. Let’s look at pictures of stars.”
“I don’t want to look at pictures,” says Ada.

But when you can’t look up at the stars and marvel at the vastness of space, there are other activities that star-enthusiasts can enjoy!

You might try looking at images taken by the Hubble telescope – which takes better photos than we could hope to from Earth, given that it orbits outside our atmosphere. While you’re taking in those stunning images, you could brush up on the things our scientists have discovered about what lies beyond the globe we call home.

And then, when you next find yourself able to stargaze, you’ll have learn more about what’s out there and be even more in awe than you were before!


Category: Book Reviews

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