Harpenden author teaches children about space in new bedtime storybook

Children at Mount Carmel Kindergarten reading Goodnight Starry, after D’Arcy Lewis visited the schoo

Children at Mount Carmel Kindergarten reading Goodnight Starry, after D’Arcy Lewis visited the school. Picture: Submitted by D’Arcy Lewis - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden author has published a bedtime story book for budding star-gazers and future astronauts.

D'Arcy Lewis wrote Goodnight Starry to make children feel safe and secure as they go to sleep each night, encouraging them to wish all the different planets in the solar system goodnight.

Learning simple facts about space in the process, the children's book was released simultaneously by Little Steps Publishing in Australia and the UK.

D'Arcy himself is a former volunteer lifesaver and patrol captain on Bondi Beach in Sydney, who moved to Harpenden early last year.

He said: "The planets, asteroids and moons in our solar system are amazing places, and are all very different, just like the members of our own families.

"But for kids, they can be hard concepts to get your head around. I wanted this book to bring some personality to the members of the Earth's solar family that they could relate to. While they're being amused by the book and the amazing illustrations, they also accidently learn the order, names and a key fact about each object, its rough distance from the Earth and the planet's astronomical symbol."

Flogging the book at St Albans Christmas Market last year, D'Arcy said feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

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"The response has been great and I'm always amazed at how much kids actually absorb, and so quickly, at that age.

"The massive dust storms on Mars, and Jupiter's windy bottom - the Great Red Spot which has been blowing off for over 300 years - are particular favourites."

He has also visited schools in St Albans, Hatfied, and Harpenden to conduct author readings and workshops.

Illustrations in the book are by a digital artist from Melbourne, Australia called Andrew McIntosh.

Goodnight Starry, which is aimed at children aged three to six, is available at bookshops around the UK, including Waterstones and WH Smith.

A limited number of signed first editions are also available in hardback or paperback through Goodnight Starry's website, www.goodnightstarry.com