cover image The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey

The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey

Jason Chin. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5070-1

In this companion to Your Place in the Universe, Chin zooms way, way in, examining progressively smaller materials until reaching the smallest known to humans. An opening page pictures a child with light brown skin who uses a wheelchair, shown near a school group in a desert park. The child sees something that the others miss, kicking off a litany of scientific facts—“The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the United States”—then spots even smaller beings: the most diminutive butterfly, and the tiniest bee. Linked comparisons continue into the human body, drilling down to cells (“like tiny water balloons,” reads handily comparative text), molecules, atoms, and elementary particles, all explained clearly and portrayed with dazzling precision. Ending lines weave scientific revelation into a message of profound inspiration, the opening child’s deep, thoughtful gaze accompanying the conceit: “You are made of the same stuff as everything else in the universe... a singular person, who can think and feel and discover... the universe within.” Ample back matter provides background material about elements, cells, DNA, and more. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)