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  • The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: A Life of Edwin Hubble by Isabelle Marinov
  • Elizabeth Bush
Marinov, Isabelle The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: A Life of Edwin Hubble; illus. by Deborah Marcero. Enchanted Lion, 2021 [52p]
Trade ed. ISBN 9781592703173 $17.95
Reviewed from digital galleys R 5–8 yrs

It was the birthday gift of a telescope from his grandfather that changed Edwin Hubble’s general sense of awe at the vast sky into a fixation on astronomy, and even his father’s disapproval of a scientific career could only delay, not derail, his ambition. After his father’s death, Hubble pivoted in 1914 to a new course of study at the University of Chicago. With access to world class telescopes, Hubble was off to the races, and within a decade he had solved the question of whether the Andromeda spiral is located within or beyond the Milky Way. (Spoiler alert, if you missed that one in school: beyond.) Marinov is exceptionally adept at distilling the salient points of Hubble’s research for a picture book audience: “All of a sudden, the universe had become a far bigger place. With the Milky Way no more than a small dot in an unimaginably vast universe.” She also credits work that enabled his discovery, such as Henrietta Swan Leavitt’s previously underacclaimed calculations that led her to posit a link between the tempo and brightness of pulsating stars. Marcero’s take on dreamy, round-headed Hubble investigating a black, white, and teal-tinged universe conjures a watercolor vision of Edward Gorey children, devoid of the macabre but touched with second sight. Tidily incorporated diagrams help explain concepts, and closing notes summarize Hubble’s work, address the impact of his research on scientific controversies, and comment on illustrations. [End Page 304]



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