Starting with a frame of reference young readers can grasp easily, Sibert and Caldecott Honoree Jason Chin (Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born) explains, "Ostriches are the tallest birds in the world, and may grow to be 9 feet tall. That's taller than two eight-year-olds standing on each other's shoulders, but it's less than half as tall as.../ this giraffe." From these avian/mammal comparisons, Chin takes his pint-sized audience on a wondrous exploration of the far reaches of space, sparking their curiosity in measurement, perspective, astronomy and more.
Your Place in the Universe travels up over the California redwoods and Mount Everest, into space and then the orbit of the moon. Chin soars through the solar system, the galaxy and beyond, illustrating in breathless awe the enormity of these phenomena: "Huge chains of galaxies, millions of light-years long, are strung throughout space," creating the "cosmic web." Each step of the odyssey is supplemented with helpful facts, definitions and, of course, fastidiously detailed gouache, watercolor and digital illustrations. Chin reinforces the grand size and distance through arresting, realistic imagery, constructed in precise scale.
In the book's back matter, Chin provides fun and fascinating facts, sources and websites, as well as additional illustrations that build on the book's content. Your Place in the Universe transforms the astronomical into the comprehendible in a breathtaking expedition that readers of all ages should enjoy. --Jen Forbus, freelancer