Is There Life in Outer Space? (Marvelous but True)

Jan Leyssens, illus. by Joachim Sneyers. Clavis, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60537-629-5
Translated from the Dutch into straightforward prose, this third entry in a nonfiction series gives readers an uneven overview of humankind’s interest in intergalactic existence, centering astrobiologist Carl Sagan and his quest to contact extraterrestrial life in the 1970s. After relaying how, in the 1800s, Mars, Venus, and the moon were thought to support life, Leyssens conveys contemporary thought on the orbs’ inhabitancy before transitioning focus to Sagan and his missive to extraterrestrials. Crafting a golden record (“like a CD but bigger”), Sagan puts “images and sounds from all over the world” onto it to accompany NASA’s Voyager probes (puzzlingly called “satellites” here) outside of Earth’s solar system. Sneyers alternates b&w digital sketches with illustrations in washes of muted color. Many lengthy text blocks frustratingly lack elaboration, requiring readers to seek more detailed resources. Ages 6–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/09/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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