Synopses & Reviews
Fresh, funny, and full of verve and variety, this clever book of 22 illustrated poems about school captures what kids love to do when class lets out.
That wonderful bell begins to ring.
Everyone knows that the best part of the school day is the moment it ends! After school, kids can hang out with their friends, play video games, attend music lessons, avoid chores, practice sports, do homework...well, maybe that last part isn't so great, but the rest is a blast!
"To top off this feast for the eyes, occasional die-cuts provide telescopic windows onto adjoining spreads, firmly establishing for the reader the truth that space is a vast continuum, with new surprises in every corner of the sky. Each poem receives a thumbnail gloss at the end, offering additional facts or extending the information presented earlier. Glorious." Kirkus Reviews
and#8220;The poet-painterand#8217;s latest book brings warm wit to the outermost reaches of cold, dark space. . . . Florianand#8217;s illustrations depict the marvels of space with luminous texture and detail.and#8221;--The New York Times Book Review
* and#8220;Nothing gladdens the heart of believers of good poetry for children more than a new collection by Florian. . . . This one literally sings the music of the spheres. . . . In both language and artwork, Florian strikes the perfect balance between grandeur and whimsy.and#8221; --School Library Journal 7/1/07 (starred)
"Smart and sassy poems and accessible illustrations combine for an engaging, humorous package." --Kirkus Reviews
"The eye-catching artwork done in acrylic, gouache, and colored pencil is sure to appeal to many readers along with the humor, rhyme, and universal topics." --SLJ
Blast off with Douglas Florian's new high-flying compendium, which features twenty whimsical poems about space. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; From the moon to the stars, from the Earth to Mars, here is an exuberant celebrationand#160;of our celestial surroundings that's certain to become a universaland#160;favorite among aspiring astronomers everywhere. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Includes die-cut pages and a glossary of space terms.
Blast off with Douglas Florian's new high-flying compendium, which features twenty whimsical poems about space. From the moon to the stars, from the Earth to Mars, here is an exuberant celebration of our celestial surroundings that's certain to become a universal favorite among aspiring astronomers everywhere. Includes die-cut pages and a glossary of space terms.
A poetry collection that's truly out of this world.
About the Author
Douglas Florian is the creator of many acclaimed picture books, including Mammalabilia, Insectlopedia, and Beast Feast. He lives in New York City.
Interview with Douglas Florian, creator of Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars
Q: You've created more than thirty picture books, many of them focusing on the natural world and its creatures. With Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars, you move through the universe. What excited you about going into space?
A: Actually, Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars was inspired by an author's visit to a Long Island school. I had time to wander the halls and found a fascinating space mural that appeared to be the work of first graders. The entire project had charm and simplicity, even the mistakes, such as giving Mars rings.
Q: Did you know a lot about astronomy prior to starting work on this book?
A: I didn't really know that much about astronomy before writing the book. I visited the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, as well as the library and bookstores.
Q: You frequently use surprising elements in your art. Why did you decide to use brown paper bags as your canvas in a book about space?
A: I used brown paper bags, primed white with gesso, because they work really well for collage. The bags are very thin, they don't warp or buckle when you apply paint to them, and the white priming underneath gives the color brilliance.
Q: Your palette for this book isn't limited to the dark blues and blacks kids typically associate with space. What influenced your color choices?
A: Scientists sometimes use colors that are very different from what we normally see in space because doing so enables them to graphically represent various features on space maps with better clarity.
Q: Do you write the poems before you start working on the images that will accompany them in a book? Or do you create both elements text and art at the same time?
A: Usually the poems are written before I start on the art, for the simple reason that many poems are edited out of the manuscript. If the poem doesn't work, then even the most beautiful picture won't help it.
Q: You've said that your drawings "collect their own thoughts and have a mind of their own." How closely do your printed books resemble your original plans for them?
A: I think an element of surprise or spontaneity lends freshness and life to a book; that's why I often don't make a dummy or draw rough sketches.
Q: What first inspired you to create books for children?
A: I was illustrating for newspapers and magazines and wanted more time to develop ideas and use my imagination, so I turned to children's books, where there's a lot of creative freedom.
Q: Now that you've spent time among the stars, where will you look next for artistic inspiration?
A: Now I may actually go back in time to dinosaurs.
Copyright © 2007 Harcourt
Questions written by Deborah Halverson