Cosmic Wonder: Halley's Comet and Humankind

Illustrator: Ashley Benham-Yazdani

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Candlewick Press

Age 3+

Children's & Young Adult: General Non-Fiction

An innovative and visually sweeping picture book imagines Halley’s Comet observing Earth and its inhabitants at every pass, tracing human evolution over millennia.

First recorded traveling overhead in 240 BCE, Halley’s Comet returns every seventy-six years or so for a fresh glimpse of life on bountiful Earth. In a wondrous story told from the comet’s point of view, the creator of A Green Place to Be weaves scenes of Halley’s hurtling through space with views of Earth and its evolving flora and fauna below. Even as humans gaze up in search of the celestial wanderer—tracking the “broom star” in words and pictures—the comet gazes down, forming gentle conclusions. Each visit reveals how curious and creative humans transform the planet, contributing war and pollution but also a boundless capacity to love. What will the comet find when it passes again in 2061? Time stamps and thorough back matter ground a lyrical and luminously illustrated story in sound historical and scientific research. A kaleidoscope of biodiversity, locales, and peoples, Cosmic Wonder gracefully charts the highs and lows of human civilization through the eyes of a sympathetic watcher.



Ashley Benham-Yazdani is the author-illustrator of A Green Place to Be. About this book, which she worked on while pregnant with her second child, she says, “Our long-term comet visitor has seen many of the discoveries, wonders, and, sadly, numerous tragedies of humanity, including our devastating impact on the planet. In all of its visits, one thing has been unchanging: the human hope that our children’s lives would be better, safer, happier than our own.” Ashley Benham-Yazdani lives with her family in Davis, California.


Innovative and visually outstanding, this is such a different way to view the world that it will capture not only those budding astronomers but also those who dream and wonder and imagine… Another reason to have a rich and vibrant non fiction collection.

The Bottom Shelf

Other books you'll love