cover image A Few Beautiful Minutes: Experiencing a Solar Eclipse

A Few Beautiful Minutes: Experiencing a Solar Eclipse

Kate Allen Fox, illus. by Khoa Le. Little, Brown, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-41692-4

Fox pens an ode to a total solar eclipse, a moment when the moon “steal[s] the sun’s glory/ ...for a few beautiful minutes.” Le creates vignettes of children of varying skin tones making paper sun viewers that will allow them to safely regard the eclipse, as well as sweeping landscapes from which many species encounter the spectacle. As the sky darkens, wild creatures behave instinctively (“Birds roost for the night/ as crickets and bats wake”). And during the total eclipse, delicate filaments of energy radiate from the sun—the corona’s “lightning-like tentacles.” One spread zooms in from a crowd scene to a single pale-skinned child, who radiates their own filaments of energy: “one/ tiny/ precious.../ you.” The miracle of the eclipse and the miracle of existence are drawn together in this title about the unifying power of coming “face-to-face with the splendor of the universe.” Back matter includes instructions for constructing a sun viewer. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)