cover image Ada and the Galaxies

Ada and the Galaxies

Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv, illus. by Susanna Chapman. MIT Kids and Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1561-8

New Yorker Ada, who has brown skin and curly hair, is delighted to arrive at her grandparents’ Maine island house, where clear skies make it possible to view the stars she can’t see in the city. It’s hard to wait for nightfall, though, even when Poobah describes the way he measures time. “See that big rock over there?” he says, pointing to the edge of the water. “Today, when it’s completely covered with water, it’ll be dark enough to see the stars.” But the weather is unpredictable, and when fog rolls in, Poobah and Ada pore over a book whose photos offer images of galaxies—“a lot of stars swarming around one another like bees”—from the Hubble telescope. “I want to go there,” says Ada, pointing to one. “It would take about a million million years to get there,” rejoins learned Poobah. It’s this dynamic that debut picture book author Lightman, a physicist, and Pastuchiv (Riparia’s River) hold up: what it’s like to gain and share enthusiasm for the wonder that touches every part of the universe. Chapman (Elizabeth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans) has refined a loose-lined wash style that draws power from glowing light sources, creating night skies that glitter and seawater that sparkles. Ages 4–6. [em](Sept.) [/em]