COSMIC WONDER: Halley’s Comet and Humankind, by Ashley Benham-Yazdani, Candlewick, Oct. 10, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-7)
Travel through Earth’s history in Cosmic Wonder: Halley’s Comet and Humankind, a nonfiction picture book by Ashley Benham-Yazdani.
First recorded traveling overhead in 240 BCE, Halley’s Comet returns every 76 years or so for a fresh glimpse of life on bountiful Earth.
In this story told from the comet’s point of view, the creator of A Green Place to Be weaves scenes of Halley’s hurtling through space with views of Earth and its evolving flora and fauna below. Even as humans gaze up in search of the celestial wanderer—tracking the “broom star” in words and pictures—the comet gazes down, forming gentle conclusions.
Each visit reveals how curious and creative humans transform the planet, contributing war and pollution but also a boundless capacity to love. What will the comet find when it passes again in 2061? Time stamps and thorough back matter ground this story in sound historical and scientific research.
A kaleidoscope of biodiversity, locales, and peoples, Cosmic Wonder gracefully charts the highs and lows of human civilization through the eyes of a sympathetic watcher. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
Cosmic Wonder is a luminous look at Halley’s Comet. This book reminds us how young we are in the cosmic timeline. It also reminds of how interconnected things are. And it pushes us to consider both our past and our future.
Author/illustrator Ashley Benham-Yazdani’s text is contemplative and gentle. It’s a pleasure to read aloud. And her mixed media illustrations beautifully rendered. This would be a fun addition to a classroom or home library.
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