Wolf writes funny and fact-filled verse that revolves (no pun intended) around the sun, moon, and universe. The sun recites a “sunnet, er, sonnet”: “Next time you want to wish upon a star,/ you need not even wait for night to fall.” Raff anthropomorphizes planets, moons, and other celestial bodies with features (eyes, mouths), and accessories such as sunglasses, watches, and—in the case of “lonesome” Neptune—a guitar: “I’m so alone. So all alone./ I’m more than two point seven billion miles from home./ I want a planet playmate/ I can call my very own.” Back matter includes notes on the poems’ subjects and a glossary of terms, providing an opportunity for readers to broaden their knowledge of the galaxy and beyond. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Poems about stars, planets, moons, and other astronomical wonders, accompanied by stylish anthropomorphic illustrations...A giddy ride through our stellar neighborhood and beyond.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The pen and pencil ink- washed collages capture the mood of each poem and add humor, whether portraying Mars as a Roman centurion or introducing Saturnista Fashionista. Some poems are designed for multiple voices, one is a round, and all beg to be read out loud. Visually compelling, this will capture and hold the attention of young stargazers.
—Booklist (starred review)
Wolf writes funny and fact-filled verse that revolves (no pun intended) around the sun, moon, and universe...Back matter includes notes on the poems’ subjects and a glossary of terms, providing an opportunity for readers to broaden their knowledge of the galaxy and beyond.
This celestial collection of original poetry, filled with vivid illustrations that paint faces on planets and stars, begins with a sonnet for the sun and a romantic and scientifically accurate ode to the planet Venus.
Goofy illustrations on fields of star-spangled black and an abundance of cheeky verses combine to riotous effect in ‘The Day the Universe Exploded My Head’...Anna Raff’s pictures keep the energy high in this rowdy interstellar adventure for readers ages 7-13.
—The Wall Street Journal
Gr 3–7-Beginning with the sun, Wolf utilizes poetry to introduce readers to the planets and other space-related subjects. Different styles of poetry are featured throughout the text. For example, the poem on the Sun is an example of a Shakespearean sonnet, or as it's called in the book, a "sunnet." Concrete poems are also included, as are poems for two voices. The color-coded poems spotlighting two voices would be especially useful in a classroom setting. The topics covered range from the silly to the serious, offering some introductory information on the specific subject while sustaining a playful tone. The poem on meteorites presents a somewhat lighthearted view of the meteorite that exploded in the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Man" shares information about the stars, intended to be sung to the familiar children's tune. Other subjects include black holes, Sputnik, Ivan Ivanovich, famous astronomers, animals in space, and more. The lively poems are accompanied by large cartoon drawings against the backdrop of a night sky. Following all of the poems is a section of "Notes on the Poems" that provides additional information on the topics as well as the type of poetry used. The book concludes with a glossary of selected space terms and a listing of internet resources. VERDICT These out-of-this-world poems are sure to engage and delight young readers.-Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Poems about stars, planets, moons, and other astronomical wonders, accompanied by stylish anthropomorphic illustrations.
Opening with a "Solar Sunnet" ("Next time you want to wish upon a star, / you need not even wait for night to fall") and a spectacularly silly "Moon Buffet" ("Ophelia's made of tacos / and Europa's made of Spam"), this versified tour of the solar system and beyond offers both astronomical and metrical delights. Of the latter, Wolf's frequent use of multiple voices (cued by lines in different colors) plays to fine effect in zippy exclamations by three shooting stars from the Perseid shower, the measured strains of tidally locked Pluto and Charon as they whirl in a stately do-si-do, and an effervescent rap on astronomical distances: "They call us DJ Energy / and MC Square! / Physics is our business. / We're a relative pair." Raff puts faces, generally with goofy expressions, on nearly all of the cartoonish heavenly bodies she depicts posing against starry backdrops, including both light- and dark-skinned human figures in some scenes. The author unpacks select facts and concepts on each poem in closing notes, and he also identifies his meter, poetic type, and any literary references. His comment on the title poem's climax is a cogent one: "If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will eventually."
A giddy ride through our stellar neighborhood and beyond. (glossary, URLs) (Picture book/poetry. 7-13)