Phoebe helps her dad set up telescopes on the sidewalk outside his store. It’s a special night — Saturn and Mars are going to appear together in the sky. But will Phoebe be able to see them with all the city lights? Raindrops begin to fall, followed by lightning and thunder. Phoebe is filled with disappointment as she and her father hurry inside to wait out the storm. But suddenly the power fails and then, amazingly, the rain and clouds disappear. Phoebe and her dad and all kinds of people spill into the street. And there, in the bright night sky, the splendor of the planets and a multitude of stars are revealed for all to see. An illustrated afterword includes information about the solar system, planetary conjunctions and rings, moons, telescopes and light pollution. A glossary and recommended further reading are also included
Astronomy-obsessed female character? Check.
Vibrant, urban setting? Check.
Positive depiction of a father in a picture book? Check.
Diverse characters? Check.
Poetic, lyrical text? Check.
Beautiful illustrations? Check.
Yup, Bright Sky, Starry City is pretty awesome.
It’s always fantastic to see STEM-obsessed female characters being encouraged and supported by their families to follow their passions and pursue their interests.
I’ve also mentioned before how difficult it can be to find picture books that celebrate the bonds between fathers and their children, and which depict fathers as involved, active participants in their children’s lives. Bright Sky, Starry City brings us a father who obviously loves his curious, inquisitive daughter, and wants to help her explore her passion for space.
Bright Sky, Starry City manages to be both a beautiful, inspiring picture book and a source of real scientific information for budding astronomers, with a substantial afterward, glossary and list of suggested titles for further reading.
Author Uma Krishnaswami is a successful children’s book author and an instructor in the MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was born in India, buuuuuut….she’s now based in Victoria, British Columbia! My home province really is home to some of the most talented artists, authors and creators.