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The Skies Above My Eyes Review by Amber Smith

Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer
The Quarto Group
401 North Second Avenue, Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Sometimes you get a book that just makes you stop and linger for a little while longer.  The Skies Above My Eyes, by Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer, is just such a book. Immediately I was struck by the unique layout of the pages. As you open the book you see a city scape laying on its side. As you reorient the pages from horizontal to vertical you see the rising buildings, growing taller and taller, carrying you away from the street level. If you were to unfold and stretch this whole page to its full length it creates an illustrated layout that is over eight feet in length. As I laid the book out just now, to get an exact measurement, the kids all gathered around, and I had to surrender my copy to them yet again. You don’t have to worry about the space though. This book can be explored by simply turning the pages to ascend up, beyond the reach of the human eye.

“So much more is going on in the sky above you! Let’s take a look…”

This phrase begins our adventure upward and you will not be disappointed. Through Troposphere, Stratosphere and Ozone we fly, while the loose and whimsical illustrations show us what we can find in each layer on the sky above us. Helicopters, airliners, weather balloons all occupy this region twelve miles above the busy street where we began. Page after page, we travel higher; thirty miles, fifty-five miles. We pass through the Mesosphere and Thermosphere that take us to the edge of space.

The sky in the back ground grows darker and darker with each turn. Stars appear and our favorite characters come onto view. A space plane, weather satellite, even the Soyuz capsule; loaded with astronauts, floats through on the way to the International Space Station. We keep turning pages, until we are 235,000 miles above the Earth, looking at a tiny flag on the Moon.

The best surprise comes next. I thought I was on the last page, which is a beautiful spread of the solar system. Each planet and its distance from Earth is labeled along with some interesting facts, but this was not the end. There was still more. Deep space and its occupants; meteorites, asteroids and comets fill the final space exploration before we descend with our page turning return trip back to Earth again on the opposite side of the previously read pages.

As the book guides us back through the Exosphere at 6,200 miles above the Earth we drop to the places where Meteoroids burn into falling stars, and the Northern Light fill the sky. At seven miles high we find the highest flying birds. On the way down we read about the different clouds that form in various layers in the sky.

On our final pages we see sky divers, gliders and a hot air balloon. Finally, big horn sheep above the tree line lead us back down to the tall pines, where seed and eagles float where we can see them up above. And finally, our little child guide rests on the forest floor watching butterflies, bats and moths, lying on the warm solid ground.

This book is a visual adventure that will both broaden your scope of the night sky and all that is in it, and at the same time ground you to the uniqueness of the space we have here on the ground. It is one of the most surprising and well-done books I have added to my library in a while. It is a great elementary and even middle school science exploration book that touches on so many subjects. We could easily spend a year looking up more about each topic mentioned. I just discovered The Quarto Group publishers. This is just one of the many quality offering they have listed and I look forward to checking out more beautiful and informative books like The Skies Above My Eyes, soon.

- Product review by Amber Smith, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2018