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Youniverse: The Quantum Kaleidoscope of You

Youniverse: The Quantum Kaleidoscope of You

Current price: $18.95
Publication Date: December 6th, 2022
Tilbury House Publishers
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Apr 11 10:42am
On Our Shelves Now


This nonfiction picture book, by a South African writer, explores how light weaves the universe together and how much we have in common with a quivering aspen leaf and the dust of a distant nebula.

Youniverse aims to inspire a reverence for our fragile blue planet voyaging through space. The lyrical text and simple, childlike illustrations linger on one object at a time, building a mind-liberating journey from electrons and photos through atoms, molecules, cells, and the human body; outward to the solar system, the Milky Way, and the universe; and backward to the beginning of time in the Big Bang. Light weaves through the pages as it weaves the universe together, showing us that we have almost everything in common with a quivering aspen leaf and the dust of a distant nebula. “Your imagination is the greatest of miracles,” van der Merwe writes, “a consciousness that contemplates the atoms and the stars from which it was made.”

A child sees a world in a tidepool and an enchanted forest in a copse of trees. Songbirds speak messages. Moonlight whispers through an open window. The inner and outer worlds flow together without boundaries. Does growing up have to mean leaving that magic kingdom behind? Lizelle van der Merwe believes that a child’s sense of wonder should instead be encouraged, expanded, and immortalized with the real-life magic of science. The more we know about the quantum worlds within and outside us, the more wisdom is evident in a child’s view of the world.

About the Author

Lizelle van der Merwe is an Afrikaans-speaking artist, writer, and mother who has lived in India, Paris, and elsewhere in the world. Her passions include astrophotography, beekeeping, and teaching, especially Reggio Emilia – inspired teaching for preschool. She writes every day, mostly for herself but also, over the years, for newspapers and beauty magazines. Having studied fashion design, she is a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist for the advertising and fashion industries and has worked as an illustrator. A single mother, she created Youniverse for her daughter Kenji, who is her muse.