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Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space
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Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Young space and science enthusiasts will be captivated by this exciting exploration of the Big Bang and the origins of the universe.

Once upon a star, there were no stars to shine, no sun to rise, no day, no night. Until . . . a mighty BOOM!

The Big Bang, the formation of the planets, and the origins of life on Earth are made accessible and fascinating in a poetic, jazzy,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  115 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Truth be told that while for the most part, James Carter's featured poetry certainly does work very well indeed for introducing outer space and some very basic astronomy to young children (and that yes, Mar Hernández's accompanying artwork most definitely and delightfully provides a brightly colourful, fun and very much "explosive” with a bit of a visual pun in fact intended engaging aesthetic mirror to and for Carter's verses), there are unfortunately and nevertheless also more than a few of ...more
Mama Bibliosoph
I am so thrilled that this beautiful book exists! A year ago, I went looking for books that explained the Big Bang and the origins of life in a way that my kids could understand, but found nothing that would work. I wanted something science-based to pose and begin to answer the Big Questions. And now here it is!

The illustrations are simply gorgeous. It's plenty colorful, but the palette is restrained to mostly darker hues that are easy to look at. Bold shapes and defined silhouettes provide
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Handsome, color-drenched illustrations fill the pages of this book, a primer on how the universe began. Readers start by looking up into the heavens at the stars and then the sun, and then the book describes the big bang and the aftermath. The text is poetic and the images eye-catching, and readers will be enthralled at what they see unfolding before them as life begins. My favorite pages are the double-page spread in which life is described by how various lifeforms moved. Of course, the big ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Once Upon a Star by James Carter, illustrated by Mar Hernandez. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Doubleday, 2018. $18. 9780525579335



The subtitle of this book is, “A Poetic Journey Through Space.” With rhythm and rhyme, the book covers the creation of the sun through a big bang and the slow evolution of matter. It covers evolution of the stars and evolution on earth.

I liked the poetic cadence of the book, but I was a little confused by the
Ana Marlatt
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
“As the kid is lifted off the world, the day goes quiet, dark and cold”... this is how this beautiful book starts. It then explains through poetry how the world came to be, and how we are “Star stuff”. The poetry is nice, and the illustrations bring everything together. If teachers are doing a unit on the Big Bang, or the Solar System, this book would be great. It does not answer the question about “star stuff”... which could lead students on a different journey, learning about stellar ...more
Darlena Glenn
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a difficult science topic to convey, but I think this books handles it very well. Space is fascinating to me. The origins of the universe is all theory, but I love the poetic way it is described in Once Upon a Star.
Read  Ribbet
Using a poetic narrative, Carter reveals information about the creation of the universe. A good catalyst for starting inquiry into these astronomical ideas and insights. Very accessible presentation of information for younger readers.
Blake Bramley
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
A fun little illustrated poem about how our world began!

This poem would be a great discussion point for talking about the stars, sun, and out universe with children, using science and art together.
Edward Sullivan
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, science
A handsomely illustrated, poetic exploration of the Big Bang and the origins of the universe. Exciting and informative.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mock-caldecott
What? I don't think this book qualifies as "science." Nice pictures, though.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
The origins of the universe is told in simple rhyme with the message that we are all made of stars.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Very similar to Marion Dane Bauer's The Stuff of Stars, which just won a Coretta Scott King award. I really liked some of the illustrations, but it was a bit too sing-songy to me.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is about our sun and solar system, but in a very muted, simple telling.
Keri Douglas
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was ok. Big Bang theory of how the sun began for young readers. The poetry would be challenging for young readers although the illustrations and font helped elevate the book.
David Morales
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Students LOVED this book. Very crafty, and it lent itself to a lot of side conversations and student engagement. I would definitely buy this book for my class.
Christina Reid
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautifully-illustrated and fun introduction to the beginning of our universe and the stars we live among, all told in poetry.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was beautiful! The verse is lovely and the illustrations are stunning!
Yentl ♥
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a cute poem book about the solar system :)
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lilting text and bright pictures illustrates the Big Bang for PreK-2. Great for storytime too!
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