Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Unique! Sun! One in a Billion by Stacey McAnulty

Once upon a time--40 billion years ago--a magnificent and important star was born.

Me! Your Sun (with a capital S!)

He's a big star--um, make that... middling-sized star as stars go--(technically Sun is a yellow dwarf, but he's not crazy about that designation)

But he is a radiant sphere of gases, loaded with energy, the just-right Goldilocks star for our home planet, in one of the universe's best neighborhoods, which we earthlings call the Milky Way. Oh, sure, there are 100 billion stars there, give or take a few million, and he's not the biggest, but that's a good thing for Earth. To us, he's one BIG star! We even named a day of the week for him!

I give you heat and light(You're welcome!)

But the Sun has a bigger job than just lighting and warming Earth. He has a whole bunch of bodies to keep together in his solar system. Without him, self-centered as he is, they are just like loose cannons! Some of them are regular and predictable, but some have, er, eccentric orbits, a bit hard to manage, and they do occasionally squabble over their relative importance or position at a given time, but Sun, who takes his duty very seriously (with great gravity, you might say), has it all under control, keeping everyone in his place, and he still has time for some his hobby, artwork--check out his gorgeous sunrises and sunsets!

And Sun is dependable.

So grab your shades. I plan to be in the biz for another six billion years.

There's an, er, bright future ahead for Earth and Sun, in Stacey McAnulty's just published Sun! One in a Billion (Our Universe) (Henry Holt, 2018) in a bright and breezy nonfiction book about our sun, straight from the old gas ball's mouth, so to speak. McNulty lets Sun do the stand-up comic narration, introducing himself to young readers, with the, er, luminous illustrations by artist Stevie Lewis.

Share this one with McAnulty's companion book, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years (Our Universe) (review here).

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