ADA and the Galaxies

by Alan Lightman (Author) Susanna Chapman (Illustrator)

ADA and the Galaxies
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Stargazers rejoice! In his first book for children, renowned physicist Alan Lightman and collaborators, with help from the Hubble telescope, light up the night sky.

New York Times best-selling author Alan Lightman, in collaboration with Olga Pastuchiv, brings galaxies close in a stunning picture-book tribute to the interconnectedness of the natural world. Layering photographs taken from the Hubble telescope into charming and expressive art, illustrator Susanna Chapman zooms in on one child's experiences: Ada knows that the best place for star-gazing is on the island in Maine where she vacations with her grandparents. By day, she tracks osprey in the trees, paddles a kayak, and hunts for shells. But she's most in her element when the sun goes down and the stars blink to life. Will the fog this year foil her plans, or will her grandfather find a way to shine a spotlight on the vast puzzle of the universe . . . until the weather turns?

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

New Yorker Ada, who has brown skin and curly hair, is delighted to arrive at her grandparents' Maine island house, where clear skies make it possible to view the stars she can't see in the city. It's hard to wait for nightfall, though, even when Poobah describes the way he measures time. "See that big rock over there?" he says, pointing to the edge of the water. "Today, when it's completely covered with water, it'll be dark enough to see the stars." But the weather is unpredictable, and when fog rolls in, Poobah and Ada pore over a book whose photos offer images of galaxies--"a lot of stars swarming around one another like bees"--from the Hubble telescope. "I want to go there," says Ada, pointing to one. "It would take about a million million years to get there," rejoins learned Poobah. It's this dynamic that debut picture book author Lightman, a physicist, and Pastuchiv (Riparia's River) hold up: what it's like to gain and share enthusiasm for the wonder that touches every part of the universe. Chapman (Elizabeth Warren's Big, Bold Plans) has refined a loose-lined wash style that draws power from glowing light sources, creating night skies that glitter and seawater that sparkles. Ages 4-6. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Alan Lightman
Alan Lightman is a physicist and the best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams and other adult books. Modeled on his relationship with his granddaughter, Ada and the Galaxies is his first book for children. He is a professor at MIT and lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Olga Pastuchiv is a children's book author, painter, and commercial illustrator living in Richmond, Maine.

Susanna Chapman is an illustrator, muralist, and designer. Her books include Elizabeth Warren's Big, Bold Plans, written by Laurie Ann Thompson. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021
Age Range
4 - 6 years
School Library Connection, 08/01/21
None None

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