Night Wonders book cover image

Night Wonders

  • 795

Written & Illustrated by: Jane Ann Peddicord

Catch a ride on a light beam!

When you shine a flashlight into the night sky, the light speeds away from you at 186,000 miles per second. If the light escapes the Earth's atmosphere, it can soar through outer space and on to the stars. How would you like to stow aboard that flight?

In this book, you can catch a ride on a light beam as it travels across our solar system and through our galaxy. Head to the distant edges of our universe--and find out why you might just end up back home!

Stunning images give you a close-up view of the Moon, Sun, stars, and more.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Jane Ann Peddicord, author

Jane Ann Peddicord was born on an Air Force base in Illinois. Her family moved to Germany for two years, but eventually settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jane and her sister used to lie in the backyard on summer nights, point a flashlight up at the stars, and make up stories about the constellations. On family trips to Chicago and New York they always made time to see planetarium shows. Walking in off the hot city streets and settling back under the glittering dome seemed to young Jane like entering a mystical gateway into another realm.

Read more about Jane.

Awards & Honors:

  • ILA Children's Book Award, Primary Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews:

School Library Journal

"I passed the planets one by one/ revolving round the glowing Sun,/ then sped through empty space so far/ our Sun looked like a distant star..." Riding a beam of light in her imagination, Peddicord travels a long, long way, past stars and glowing nebulae, into intergalactic space--then, ultimately, loops back to a special blue-green planet "graced by water, wind, and air..." Readers will be more than willing to tag along, for each stage of her journey is marked by a (literally as well as figuratively) spectacular, full-page-sized space photo or artist's rendering, captioned by several sentences of fact. Shelve this invitation to soar next to Seymour Simon's similarly illustrated and equally high-flying Star Walk (Morrow, 1995).

Science Books & Films

"Where would you go if you could ride on a beam of light? Lyrical verse takes the reader on a journey through our solar system and galaxy to the edges of the known universe. Informative sidebars and stunning NASA images reveal the scope and structure of the cosmos in fascinating detail."

The preceding quote is indeed an accurate description of this book, an imaginative journey through the universe. Each two-page spread has a wonderful image in the right page, with the left page containing (usually four) lines of verse in large print, accompanied by smaller print providing information on the subject of the verse and the image.

The book includes a list of Web sites for "additional photographs and information" (p. 30), but not a list of additional readings. There is also a glossary. For the adult reader, the author's unusual approach to the subject takes only a brief moment of adjustment. The book's intended gradeschool audience will either not notice the unique format or also adjust quickly.


Rhyming poetry and illustrations and spectacular photographs, including many NASA images, take readers on an imaginary journey through the night sky. Along the way children learn about the scope and structure of our universe.


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ISBN: 9781570918780

Ages: 6-9
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 9 1/2

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Footprints on the Moon
Cars on Mars