We are delighted to dedicate our Wednesdays to featuring nonfiction titles, as per usual. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
Your Place In The Universe (Amazon | Book Depository)
Written and Illustrated by Jason Chin
Published by Neal Porter Books (2020)
ISBN: 0823446239 (ISBN13: 9780823446230) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
One of the greatest things I love about Jason Chin is his ability to demonstrate scale and size in such an accessible way for younger readers. He also begins very gradually, opening up the narrative playfully, demonstrating his skill as a storyteller, before tearing open the ceilings of one’s mind in awe at everything that is beyond our reach. I am more than certain that he would be a brilliant teacher – his capacity to elicit wonder is unparalleled.
His latest nonfiction picturebook does exactly that, with such an innocuous beginning that is also cleverly meta. Look at you reading about a book that is also within this book – the endless loop a delight.
As I was reading all the facts and figures here – I was naturally pleased to see Burj Khalifa in Dubai – which is just 90 minutes away (by car) from where I live, and fascinated at Jeddah Tower (ostensibly in Saudi Arabia) that is currently under construction. How glorious these tall structures that human ingenuity has created.
Each page moves the reader ever so gradually to an expanding view of galaxy clusters, until one sees nothing but stars in the cosmic web reaching our collective consciousness several millions of years too late (echoes of Andromeda’s light). I have never been much of a science geek while I was growing up. But I think that is because Jason Chin was not born during that period yet. Every book of his that I read awakens in me this appreciation of infinity, and a deep sense of gratitude that books like these exist.
#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 24 out of target 100