Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Out of This World: Poems and Facts about Space

Out of This World: Poems and Facts about Space

Amy Sklansky
Illustrator:  Stacey Schuett 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012   ISBN: 978-0375864599

For many people, space is an exciting and intriguing place, a place full of mysteries and unknowns. Though we have explored much of our own planet, we humans have not ventured far out into space yet. Getting there is part of the problem, and we have had to invent very specialized vehicles to get us off Earth’s surface and out into space, where there is no up and no down, and no gravity. Distances are so enormous, that we still haven’t figured out how to traverse them in a timely manner.

In this delightful title the author pairs her clever poems with sections of factual text to give readers a unique reading experience. She explores what zero gravity might feel like, and what the Earth looks like from space, a colored “marble” hanging in the blackness. We find out what three famous astronauts took with them when they were “Packing for the moon,” and we are challenged to think about what we would take with us if we were going to make that journey. Would you take lucky charms with you like Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins did?

Later in the book, we find out about satellites, which make life easier for us by “making phone calls / loud and clear” and by helping us “surf the Web / with ease.” If you want to know about meteors, comets, stars, the sun, the moon, and the planets then you are in luck because all of these things and more are explored in this title.

Throughout this clever book, the poems and factual sections of text are paired with wonderful illustrations that capture the beauty and wonder of space.