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Cosmic Wonder: Halley's Comet and Humankind

Cosmic Wonder: Halley's Comet and Humankind

Current price: $18.99
Publication Date: October 10th, 2023
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days

Staff Reviews

The gorgeous illustrations in the book follow Halley’s Comet through its many trips past Earth during the last 200,000 years! I know that sounds like a lot, but the storytelling that follows the pictures should inspire wonder and awe at the world around us, and at the sky above us! So often stories encourage curiosity at the future OR of the past. Cosmic Wonder does a fabulous job at connecting them together and is a must read for any curious kid. And as usual, I think this picture book is a great opportunity to read aloud to the kids in your life!

— Jenna


An innovative and visually sweeping picture book imagines Halley’s Comet observing Earth and its inhabitants at every pass, tracing human evolution over millennia.

First recorded traveling overhead in 240 BCE, Halley’s Comet returns every seventy-six years or so for a fresh glimpse of life on bountiful Earth. In a wondrous story told from the comet’s point of view, the creator of A Green Place to Be weaves scenes of Halley’s hurtling through space with views of Earth and its evolving flora and fauna below. Even as humans gaze up in search of the celestial wanderer—tracking the “broom star” in words and pictures—the comet gazes down, forming gentle conclusions. Each visit reveals how curious and creative humans transform the planet, contributing war and pollution but also a boundless capacity to love. What will the comet find when it passes again in 2061? Time stamps and thorough back matter ground a lyrical and luminously illustrated story in sound historical and scientific research. A kaleidoscope of biodiversity, locales, and peoples, Cosmic Wonder gracefully charts the highs and lows of human civilization through the eyes of a sympathetic watcher.

About the Author

Ashley Benham-Yazdani is the author-illustrator of A Green Place to Be. About this book, which she worked on while pregnant with her second child, she says, “Our long-term comet visitor has seen many of the discoveries, wonders, and, sadly, numerous tragedies of humanity, including our devastating impact on the planet. In all of its visits, one thing has been unchanging: the human hope that our children’s lives would be better, safer, happier than our own.” Ashley Benham-Yazdani lives with her family in Davis, California.

Praise for Cosmic Wonder: Halley's Comet and Humankind

Beginning millennia ago and ending with a mention of 2061, Benham-Yazdani follows Earth and its denizens via the perspective of a returning Halley’s Comet. . . . Mixed-media landscapes picture the bright, soft-edged comet shooting across an inky wash sky throughout this thought-provoking survey of human history.
—Publishers Weekly

A splendid reminder that past, present, and future are connected.
—Kirkus Reviews

Children who want to know more about Halley’s comet after they come across it. . . will find much to enjoy here.

In her sweeping story of past, present and future, author/illustrator Ashley Benham-Yazdani considers the wonder of change on the planet, as humans become aware of the heavens and ‘gaze right back’ when the comet looks down.
—The Virginian Pilot