Chris Barton, author
Chris Barton is the author of many picture books, including New York Times bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor winner The Day-Glo Brothers, Orbis Pictus honoree Dazzle Ships, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, included on twenty-one state reading lists. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Read more about Chris.
Chaaya Prabhat, illustrator
Chaaya Prabhat is a graphic designer, lettering artist, and the illustrator of Bracelets for Bina's Brothers. She holds an MA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Chennai, India.
Read more about Chaaya.
- A 2023 Junior Library Guild selection
The whats, whys, and hows of glitter.
Barton began his successful writing career with a book about shining colors, The Day-Glo Brothers (2009). Here, he tackles another showy subject. In an engaging, conversational narrative, he explains why glitter sparkles, speculates on why humans like sparkly, shiny things, and looks back at historical uses. He describes glittery bits made from the wings of beetles in ancient Egypt and from mica in civilizations around the world. Barton also examines the etymology of glitter. (It was once called flitter.) Then he turns to modern glitter, made from plastics, touching on the manufacturing process as well as glitter’s small size (measurable in microns) and uses, with special attention to Mardi Gras. Barton explains why glitter clings so easily to anything it touches and unpacks environmental concerns about microplastics, which often end up in the ocean. He mentions the more recent innovation of biodegradable glitter and problems with mica mining. Throughout Prabhat’s lively digitally created art, three young people follow the investigation. On one spread, a dark-skinned child with Afro puffs peers at glitter through a microscope while a light-skinned child with long, dark brown hair uses tweezers, and a brown-skinned child gazes through a magnifying glass. There’s humor, too, mostly related to glitter’s clinginess. The author ends on a hopeful note, praising “the steps humans are taking to shimmer more thoughtfully.”
An intriguing, entertaining investigation sure to catch readers’ attention. (author’s and illustrator’s notes, further reading, selective bibliography)
From the author of Shark vs. Train comes a nonfiction picture book about all things glitter. This informational text starts off by explaining the history of glitter when the first version was discovered, when America started creating it, and what it was used for. The science of how glitter works is also explained in a child-appropriate and accurate way with images that help explain the material. Glitter sparkles because "when light waves hit an object, some of them are absorbed and some are reflected. We see the reflected light." The many different kinds of glitter are described in all of their fascinating glory and finally, the future of glitter is described such as the environmental concerns glitter poses. The illustrations are bright and shiny and as fun as glitter-filled pages would be without the mess of actual glitter. For glitter lovers or glitter haters, this book will not disappoint! A great first purchase for any library.
Page count: 48
10 x 8