Helping children learn size and scale in ‘Your Place in the Universe’


Most 8-year-olds are about five times as tall as this book … but only half as tall as an ostrich, which is half as tall as a giraffe … 20 times smaller than a California Redwood! How do they compare to the tallest buildings? To Mt. Everest? To stars, galaxy clusters and … the universe?

Jason Chin, the award-winning author and illustrator of “Grand Canyon,” has once again found a way to make a complex subject — size, scale and almost unimaginable distance — accessible and understandable to readers of all ages in “Your Place in the Universe” (Neal Porter).

The author shows a knack for comparing the sizes of objects, people and things that children understand to less familiar terms like light-years and Andromeda. His progressions allow children to imagine and envision these concepts relative to themselves. He finishes by introducing children to the universe — “the grandest environment we know of, and it may go on and on forever, but we don’t know if it does.”

“Thinking about the size of the universe often makes me feel small,” Chin says. “After all, there are billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, many of which have planets orbiting them.”

“I feel like an insignificant speck among all those stars and galaxies until I remember how special it is that we are here and that we can imagine our place among all those stars.”


Meticulously researched and featuring the highly detailed artwork for which he is renowned, the book will attract kids looking for an engaging way to delve into perspective, astronomy and astrophysics. The book is perfect for all aspiring space enthusiasts, Neal deGrasse Tyson lovers, and parents and kids who love books about perspective and scale.

Curious readers will love the extensive supplementary material included in the back of the book.

When all is said and done, Chin will have everyone giving thoughtful contemplation to their own place in the universe.

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