It’s Here!

An exciting package arrived at my door today. And inside…

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley is coming on January 29th and is available for preorder right now.

It seems like just yesterday I was struggling with coping with a newborn while trying to get this final art done. And now, I have a toddler. And a book! Here are some nice things that Kirkus had to say about it:

A young girl looks out her window, pondering the universe. A subsequent family trip to the planetarium gives her a lot to think about. Are we alone in the universe? Are there other “Goldilocks planets” out there capable of sustaining life, planets that are “not too hot and not too cold, not too big and not too small, not too soft and not too hard” but “just right”? Older adult readers might hear the voice of Carl Sagan in the narrative, an authoritative, planetarium-movie voice explaining the universe with a focus on “exoplanets,” planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system. Kids may imagine Neal DeGrasse Tyson. Woven through the text are the twin narratives of the girl and her family’s visit to the planetarium and its “Searching for Exoplanets” exhibition. The illustrations, suffused with glowing light, are dynamically varied, including a colorful double-page spread of the Milky Way galaxy, panels carrying information, fanciful visions of other worlds, and an all-black spread with just one stark sentence in white: “Or maybe it’s like nothing we can even imagine.” Lanan effectively balances the girl’s visual narrative with the heavier scientific exposition of the text. The girl, who has exuberantly kinky hair, and her family present black; other planetarium guests are a diverse group. Thorough backmatter includes books, websites, astronomy clubs, and various websites for further exploration. An attractive and informative volume for young stargazers. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

And another nice review from Publisher’s Weekly:

Readers join a brown-skinned girl with a polka-dotted backpack as she asks questions about the stars and visits a space museum, where she watches exoplanets careen overhead in a planetarium. In sweeping, inky art, Lanan captures the child’s dawning awareness of the vastness of the universe. Manley’s writing swings gracefully between factual descriptions (“Earth orbits in our solar system’s ‘habitable zone’ ”) and more lyrical observations: “All stars twinkle, but some stars also seem to wink at us… as if saying, ‘I know a secret.’ ” Back home after the museum trip, the child considers the types of life-forms that might be out there. Richly informative prose and intimate yet expansive art show a child’s contagious enthusiasm for the book’s subject. Includes a timeline of astronomical discoveries and suggestions for further reading. Ages 5–9. (Jan.)

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