"Suffused with awe, astrophysicist Stahl’s well-chosen words, tightly paired with Allen-Fletcher’s jewel-toned galactic pictures, aim to capture something of the mind-blowing scope of the big bang. Like the event itself, the story moves with dizzying speed from nothingness (“At first, the universe was small”) to somethingness (incomprehensible vastness whose one-second growth is represented by 43 zeroes). Stahl’s lyricism invites wonder—“It was a hot, messy,/ churning soup that cooled./ And fell together neatly” into galaxies—while guiding readers toward Earth (“a planet that’s just right”) and the enticing possibility of exoplanets, where (“on another planet that’s just right”) other beings may share this fundamental creation story. An author’s note delves into the underlying science. Ages 4–9."
- Publishers Weekly
“Awesome in the truest sense of the word, Stahl’s and Allen-Fletcher’s book beautifully inspires wonder and exploration, accessibly melds astrophysics and art, and powerfully expands minds and imaginations. It brings science and shape to what can be a mind-boggling concept and is simply astounding.”
- Andrew Medlar, Director of BookOps, New York Public Library & Brooklyn Public Library
"An astrophysicist goes back to our cosmic origins: “Once upon a time, / we don’t know.””Maybe it was dark. / Maybe there was nothing.” Carefully distinguishing verifiable fact from informed speculation, Stahl ushers readers past the first second of the Big Bang through the transformation of plasma to matter, then the appearance of swirling galaxies and their stars and planets, and finally to a planet that’s “just right” for “you. / And everyone else.” In her suitably dramatic illustrations, Allen-Fletcher modulates from flat black pages to shimmering blasts of light and fiery stellar nurseries that give way to a misty blue Earth, with an indistinct figure in a dim bedroom scene hung with glow-in-the-dark stars—and, accompanying the author’s suggestion that there may be more than one planet that’s “just right,” a pointy eared silhouette likewise looking up into a starlit sky. . . In an expansive afterword the author urges readers to ask big questions like “What am I?” and “Where am I?” because they “cut to the heart of how much we understand about the universe.”A stately recap drawing on current physics and astronomy and appropriately cognizant of their limitations."
“In The Big Bang Book, simple yet informative text and luminous illustrations recount major steps in the formation of the universe, providing an accessible and engaging introduction for children.”
- Christy Hale, Award-winning author of Water Land