Star Seeker: A Journey to Outer Space

Theresa Heine, Author, Victor Tavares, Illustrator , illus. by Victor Tavares. Barefoot $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-905236-36-7

This cheerful fantasy draws most of its energy from Brazilian artist Tavares's illustrations. They pair nearly scientific portraits of planets with two freckle-face children who zip by them on paper airplanes, armchairs and hobby-horses: "I'll seize blue Uranus/ Then teach him to fly/ Like a Frisbee I'll fling him/ Across the night sky." Most of Heine's (Elephant Dance ) text serves as a fantasy about space travel, but a multi-page afterword supplies facts about space, the solar system, planets and constellations. The clunkiness of the verse sometimes takes the shine off its galactic sweep ("I'll dive like an arrow/ Past swift Mercury;/ He's faster than thought/ But he'll never catch me"). Tavares dresses the children endearingly for their interplanetary adventures, the girl in ice skates for her trip to frozen Uranus, the boy in beach thongs for volcanic Venus. As they swoop through space, the two are surrounded by opalescent clouds, whorls of gas and sparkling comets. The book oscillates between whimsy and fact in a not-always-helpful way; no distinction is made in the narrative, for example, between constellations (conceptual inventions that do not reflect the actual positions of stars in space). On the other hand, the concluding sections about the constellations contain a wealth of material about history and myth. Ages 4-9. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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FORMATS
Paperback - 978-1-84686-385-1
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-905236-35-0
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