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There Was a Black Hole That Swallowed the Universe
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There Was a Black Hole That Swallowed the Universe

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Spark creative conversations about celestial beings with this clever parody from the #1 science author for kids!

PLUS, use a black light to reveal secret, invisible text and artwork that reverses the story from nothing to the scientific creation of everything!

Using the familiar rhythm of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," follow along as the black hole swallows up
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Sourcebooks Explore
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  144 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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A cumulative story told somewhat in sing-song similar to There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. Lots of descriptions of the materials that make up the universe. A bit involved for preschoolers, but doable if they're on the older side. Great for elementary age kids. ...more
Steff Fox
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
| Reader Fox Blog |

The fact that There Was a Black Hole that Swallowed the Universe by the amazing Chris Ferrie and illustrated by Susan Batori might be a little too advanced for a lot of kids is more of a failing of society pushing science as important than the fact that the author is teaching about concepts that most children will have never been introduced to. Even I don't fully understand the last thing mentioned in this book, and I'm twenty-six years old. And yet, I am over the moon in
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was fun to read and I know my students would LOVE this as a read-aloud. They love the "There Was an Old Lady" books where there is repetition and an opportunity for them to participate. The illustrations are also fun and quirky, adding to the tone of the book. I think often we think that kids can't grasp complicated concepts or use big words but I stopped believing that as soon as one of my 3rd graders explained what a super nova was to me in accurate detail. This book is meant to be humoro ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The perfect book to teach children about the scientific components that make the universe and the colorful planets, stars and galaxies. Throughout the book you have this toothy black hole that is hungry to swallow everything he finds in the universe. His hunger leads him to darkness since nothing in space is there anymore. I loved the illustrations and how the repeated phrase kept getting larger as he kept swallowing away. The final book has a wonderful bonus. You will be able to go backwards wi ...more
Villain E
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Science concepts told with the pacing of the classic "There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly", though sticking to that pacing can be pretty forced. I question the choice to go from macro to micro, rather than micro to macro. I can't imagine she understands the book, but four-year-old wanted me to read this multiple times. ...more
Raymond Library
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
A cute concept, but not well executed. The black hole swallows up the largest things first, which doesn't make sense. If you've already swallowed the universe, doesn't that mean you've already swallowed the planets? ...more
David Morales
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My students were highly engaged and started to jump on with me in certain pages. It lent itself to being a predicting book that j could use to teach predictions with. Kids loved drawing what they saw too!!
Fun take on "There Was an Old Lady" with clever, quirky text and adorably cartoonish illustrations. Can't wait for the final product so I can test out the reverse story! ...more
Alicia Bayer
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a cute book that I really wanted to like a bit more. I read it with my 7 year-old, who enjoyed it, but she kept asking questions like "what's the difference between an atom and a molecule?" and "what's a quark?". I told her I'd explain at the end and was hoping for a brief glossary, but there are no explanations at all for the terms in the book, so I had to kind of quickly summarize astrophysics on the fly for her level (now I have to find THAT book).

The book is basically a take on "Ther
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This beautiful rhyming book follows the story of a goofy black hole that goes about first swallowing the universe, then a galaxy and then a star and so on until all there was, was dark.

This is a simple, rhyming book for children that introduces them to some simple concepts (atom, molecules, cells, planets, etc..) with some neat black hole facts at the end of the book. I did have to do look up a few concepts to make sure I was explaining them right to my son (I didn’t know what a quark was). It g
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-reviews
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Kids for sending me a free ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

There Was a Black Hole That Swallowed the Universe is such a cute book! We get to follow a black hole that eats progressively smaller things (we start out with the universe, eventually making our way to planets, molecules, and even smaller items). In the final product there will also be a blacklight reverse story, which I can’t wait to test out!

I do agree with some of the other ARC reviews
Sharon Tyler
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
There Was a Black Hole that Swallowed the Universe is a picture book written by Chris Ferrie and illustrated Susan Batori. This book uses the familiar rhythm of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," follow along as the black hole swallows up the universe and everything that exists in it, from the biggest to the smallest pieces of matter. The silly, vibrant artwork is sure to make stargazers of all ages smile. Included in the book are instructions to create a craft to turn a cell phone cam ...more
Victoria B.
Story was ok (I think I found it more interesting than my kids), but the illustrations are stinking adorable!! My kids loved the pictures, especially the friendly-looking toothy black hole that just gobbles up everything in sight.

One of the facts at the end states that black holes aren't visible because it doesn't reflect light, but that doesn't sound 100% accurate. In general, yes, black holes themselves are not visible, but the gases being pulled into their orbit around them make some visibili
J Aislynn d'Merricksson
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
There Was a Black Hole That Swallowed the Universe by Chris Ferrie is a goofy rhyming book that follows the scheme of 'There was an Old Woman that Swallowed a Fly'. From the universe to quarks, a hungry black hole gobbles up everything til nothing is left! I read this with my cubs and they enjoyed it. For myself, it creeped me out. I have an irrational and illogical fear of these mysterious celestial entities. I got nothin' there… The artwork is amusing, and at the end of the book there's a note ...more
Elzbieta Wisz
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
So this book is a cute play on "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly." There are some parts that I wasn't too sure about, because let's face it... I sang the whole dang book. I felt like one of the lines that kept repeating just didn't go. I do, however, love the vocabulary packed in this book. It could definitely be an fun introduction to a science unit. I also love that it is actually two books in one with the glow in the dark aspect. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of this book (and really all Chris Ferrie's books that introduce kids to science and math at an early age) - however, I found it odd that the black hole swallowed the universe and THEN swallowed all the things that make up a universe in increasingly smaller parts. Shouldn't it be the opposite if following the pattern of "There was an old lady..."? ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was very interesting. It broke down science in an easy way for kids to understand. The pictures were cute and colorful. I like the aspect that when it is finished, the hard cover will have a black light page and that if read in reverse you can read about creation of the universe. Very neat!
Jenny Claiborne
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I only wish it were available NOW...our summer reading program is a space theme and this would make the perfect story time book! We will be purchasing this title as soon as is humanly possible and I can't wait to see what my little preschoolers think of it!
Claire Edmunds
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it! Read it with my nephew and niece (6 and 4 years old). We had a great time talking about the different planets and galaxies, and then linked back to our other favourite science book Quantum Physics for Babies when we got to the atom!
The book is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful take on the old nursery rhyme. I loved the surprise bonus story on the last page as well!
Hannah-lynette Hunter
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a clever book that will have little ones grasping key concepts and vocabulary at an early age. Using the rhyming and repeating pattern, will ensure these words transfer to long term memory, way before the reader needs to know the complex nature of some of the terms.
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Awesome storybook that makes it easy for kids to understand what makes up the universe from planets to molecules. Love the pictures! Clever how the author reviews the pieces of the universe the black hole eats. A definite must buy!
Thank you for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
A parody of the old lady stories. This time the Black Hole swallows everything from the universe down to quarks. The rhymes were rough and didn't flow well.
However, it's a great way to introduce these terms.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun idea to use the "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" idea for black hole, but this uses terminology that kids may not be familiar with and doesn't define it. Especially if kids are reading this on their own, that is a huge drawback for what could be a fun, educational science book. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Hilarious. Looking forward to sharing it with my nephew as a way to introduce physics, solar system, and a good read.
Diana Toole
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-roland
Totally fun! And it has a black light secondary story!
very well done!
beautiful & funny!
Note: I accessed digital review copies of this book through NetGalley and Edelweiss.
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book is cute and is a great idea. but I struggled with it because I was trying to get it to fit the rhythm of the story it is parodying, but it really, really doesn't. This is not poetic, with the rhyming and meter being off a lot and the reasons for each thing swallowing the other don't make sense. It could have been so much better if the rhythm worked at least. ...more
Danielle Lardeo
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the "There was an old lady" story that this is formatted after and think it is a great way to introduce these concepts to young children. The illustrations are entertaining and easy for children to understand. I can see this book helping to foster a love of science in young children. ...more
I love outerspace books. And this book is so cool. Two in one; if you have a black light, you can read the book backwards.
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I am Chris Ferrie, father of four and happy husband. My day job is academic research where I follow my curiosity through the word of quantum physics. My passion for communicating science has led from the most esoteric topics of mathematical physics to more recently writing children’s books.

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