Saturday, February 13, 2021

Review: Beyond by Miranda Paul

 Ready for a trip to space and beyond? Today's book is a poetic introduction to several of the things one might find if they travel beyond our solar system...beyond our galaxy. Mixing artistic impressions with descriptive texts and information, this is definitely a book for space lovers, who also might want to learn more about our universe.

Discoveries from the Outer Reaches of Space
by Miranda Paul
Illustrated by Sila Hong
Milbrook Press
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 6 to 10

APRIL 6th!!!

Journey far beyond our solar system and explore the marvels of interstellar space. A wonder-filled poem and spectacular illustrations bring readers across the observable universe to encounter dwarf planets, black holes, brand-new stars, and other incredible phenomena. Award-winning author Miranda Paul and illustrator Sija Hong present a fresh and fascinating journey to the outer reaches of outer space.

BOOK DEPOSITORY    /     AMAZON    /    B&N    /     KOBO     /    GOODREADS


                                            * bright illustrations
                                            * poetic text and descriptions
                                            * information bubbles
                                            * more facts at end of book


With artistic flair, these pages travel beyond our more familiar solar system to explore lesser known attributes in our universe.

Starting with an adult and child, gazing from Earth into space, this book launches from the more familiar solar system, through the Milky Way, and out to the places beyond...and hence, then name Beyond.  It explores various anomalies, which don't exist within the Milky Way, and allows the reader to gain a quick introduction to the amazing wonders of our universe. There are small circles on the side, which give a the general distance that these things can be found from Earth. At the end of the book, there is a large amount of text, which goes into more detailed information as well as offers places where readers can learn more themselves.

The text isn't about describing the various places and things with scientific details, but rather presents a poetic scene, which allows the various things to gain atmosphere and feeling. The vocabulary and form is a bit heavy for younger readers...and at moments, can even be a challenge for slightly older readers. Even the distance bubbles will mean little to many younger readers, but those with an interest in the direction already will have a better grip on this. The last bit of text at the end is also written for the older end of readers, edging more toward older middle graders. However, there is very little text on each page, making it appear as if it's for the younger end.

The illustrations are very artistic and beautifully made. They do tend to blend together as the pages continues, since the color schemes and style doesn't really change. Plus, the artistic impression made it sometimes hard to really identify what was going on. So, from the fact end, I wasn't really impressed...but for those who love poetry, it's nicely done.

All in all, this is a beautiful book for true space lovers but those who want the artistic impression along with their facts. I'm just not sure which age group I'd recommend this to. Younger listeners and readers will be lost. Middle graders, who might enjoy the science end, will lose interest and understanding with the strong artistic flair...and older readers (high school and beyond), will find the text too light. But it's pretty and great for the right reader.

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