Review of It Fell from the Sky

It Fell from the Sky
by Terry Fan and Eric Fan; illus. by the authors
Preschool, Primary    Simon    56 pp.    g
9/21    978-1-5344-5762-1    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5763-8    $10.99

This contemporary fable begins on its title page with a cat’s-eye marble falling to earth from the sky. The mysterious object is soon investigated by a cast of garden critters. The item confounds each one in turn, from a grasshopper who states that the marble is “most likely a fallen star, a comet, or perhaps even a small planet” to a Luna moth who (in a breathtakingly luminescent evening scene) attempts to hatch the marble, believing it to be a chrysalis. Finally, a greedy spider (clad in a bow tie and a top hat) effectively gaslights his neighbors into his taking possession of the “Wonder from the Sky.” The spider’s scheme to charge exorbitant prices to view the “Wonder” eventually unravels due to a combination of disgruntled customers, bad weather, and, worst of all, an “Unexpected Disaster” — a child, who takes the marble away. Remorseful, and inspired by the night stars’ willingness to shine for all, the spider decides to use his web to catch new objects from the sky (LEGO bricks, thumbtacks, a pocket watch), this time to share with everyone. The graphite illustrations are meticulously drawn, with particular attention to light, surface texture, and page-to-page continuity (for example, the locations of air bubbles within the marble remain constant). Extensive crosshatching and shading provide a strong sense of form and depth, while a soothing sepia wash serves as the dominant hue for nearly every character and background — allowing the full-color marble (plus a few other key objects) to visually pop off the page.

From the September/October 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Patrick Gall
Patrick Gall works as a librarian for children in preschool through eighth grade at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.

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