When Dad Showed me the Universe by Ulf Stark, illus Eva Eriksson.
There is something about standing in dog poo that is a great leveler. On this particular night a father takes his son out to show him the universe. Its a big place and the boy, who narrates the story is anxious to see it.
Father and son dress warmly and holding hands they set off through the town, past the empty toddler pool, over a ditch of water into a dark field where people let their dogs loose.
The boy is fascinated… how big is the universe? Are we there yet?
When the boy looks up he sees the immensity of the stars in the Universe and dad is wonderous too. But then that false step into misery.
Superb story from Ulf Stark who is famous in Sweden for his off beat sense of humour.
Eva Eriksson has much to do with her illustrations and she does it superbly with simple yet amazingly detailed illustrations in water colours and crayon. She captures the wonder and excitement on the faces of father and son, life in the town, the fish and crabs in the shop window, the snail on the rock in the field and ultimately the whole night sky.
Then that fatal sticky step and the glum face. Excellent read-a-loud for juniors.