cover image The Big Bang Book

The Big Bang Book

Asa Stahl, illus. by Carly Allen-Fletcher. Creston, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-939547-64-4

“This is the story of the universe. And it begins:/ Once upon a time,/ we don’t know.” Suffused with awe, astrophysicist Stahl’s well-chosen words, tightly paired with Allen-Fletcher’s jewel-toned galactic pictures, aim to capture something of the mind-blowing scope of the big bang. Like the event itself, the story moves with dizzying speed from nothingness (“At first, the universe was small”) to somethingness (incomprehensible vastness whose one-second growth is represented by 43 zeroes). Stahl’s lyricism invites wonder—“It was a hot, messy,/ churning soup that cooled./ And fell together neatly” into galaxies—while guiding readers toward Earth (“a planet that’s just right”) and the enticing possibility of exoplanets, where (“on another planet that’s just right”) other beings may share this fundamental creation story. An author’s note delves into the underlying science. Ages 4–9. (Apr.)