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Connections to Our Universe Explored in This Gorgeous Picture Book

Updated on April 8, 2020
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Everyone Has a Special Place in Our Universe

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Young Children Learn About Their Place in Our Vast Universe

Ray Jayawardhana's beautiful new picture book, Child of the Universe, is extremely appropriate for the times we are now living in. Young children wonder if they matter in our vast world. Children are depending on the love from their parents, and also wonder if they are connected to others. The times that we are living in now with the outbreak of the coronovirus is unprecedented in the connections that we all share with the entire world. This beautifully illustrated picture book can teach young children that they have a special place in our world and that everyone belongs in our world.

A little girl sits with her father by the window at night to watch the moon. Her dad tells her that she shines in his heart just like the moon and the stars. He shares his idea that her eyes and her smile are precious to him and the vast cosmos shines in her beautiful eyes. His words tell of his love for his daughter.

He describes the galaxies, the planets, and the constellations to his daughter. His daughter learns that all are somehow connected in our vast world and that she has a place in the world because she is special to her dad.

Raul Colon contributed his talents as an illustrator to Child of the Universe. The colors of the large illustrations that fill each page are stunning. Young children will be delighted with each illustration that depicts the planets, the constellations, and the moon.

The Author's Note at the end of the story is of interest to the adults who are sharing this book.

Child of the Universe was published by Make Me a World, a division of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 3-7 and has an ISBN of 978-1-5247-1754-4.

Bring Child of the Universe Into the Classroom

Ray Jayawardhana's gorgeous picture book, Child of the Universe, is a special story that teachers will want ot use to introduce our cosmos to young children. The book can spark an interest in the moon, stars, and the planets. Young children are fascinated with topics about space and everything that is out in space. Teachers who teach curriculum that includes lessons about the moon and planets in an early childhood classroom will want to add Child of the Universe to their classroom library.

*Read Child of the Universe in a story time session. Call attention to the moon at the beginning of the story. Introduce the phases of the moon in a lesson to enhance the story. Assign a project for children to go outside each night to observe the phases of the moon. Children also enjoy drawing the phases of the moon.

*Call attention to the illustrations of the Milky Way stars as you read. Add a collection of books that depict the constellations.

*Have large drawing paper and star stickers available for children to create their own constellations.

*Introduce the planets. Call attention to planet Saturn with its rings.

*Make available a variety of sizes of styrofoam balls and toothpicks for children to create the planets.

*Create a project for children to learn about the surface of the moon with craters. Make available a large piece of poster board-must be thick-and draw a large circle to represent the moon. Spread glue and sand on the circle. Create craters by molding clay into circles and placing on the surface of the moon.

*Engage children in a discussion of how they would feel if they went into space to explore the cosmos. Make drawing paper, crayons, and markers for children to draw their adventures in space.

*Prepare dried snack foods and place in a small plastic bag for children to eat "Space Food" that the astronauts eat when they go out into space.

*Bring a telescope into the classroom for children to explore.

*Prepare a cooking activity for children to prepare "moon cookies". Have cookie cutters available to cut each cookie into one of the phases of hte moon.

© 2020 Cindy Hewitt

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