Can You Get Rainbows in Space?: A Colourful Compendium of Space and Science

Can You Get Rainbows in Space?: A Colourful Compendium of Space and Science

By Author / Illustrator

Dr Sheila Kanani


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Penguin Random House Children's UK








Why is blood red? Why are carrots orange? Who invented the lightbulb? Why is the world 'going green'? Is the sky really blue? And what is ultraviolet light?

You'll discover the answers to these questions - and many more - in this incredible collection of scientific facts about colour. We'll talk about light (the most important thing) and waves (not the kind you see at the beach - though you will learn why the sea looks blue!). You'll find out how some animals are able to glow in the dark and how others change their colours to hide from predators. Keep reading to discover why leaves change colour in the autumn, why your veins look blue but your blood is red, and why the language we use shapes the colours we see . . .

And you'll learn exactly how to make a rainbow - in space.



Can You Get Rainbows in Space is a beautifully bright and scientific non-fiction epic book with all you ever wanted to know about light and colour, explaining just how we get to view the world in so many glorious shades. It is a delightfully bold and eye catching hardback and packed with fascinating facts.

The layout is appealing and (of course) colour coded. Each colour of the rainbow has its own section with pages and pages focused on the science, history, cultural meaning , natural occurrences and use of the colour throughout time. The level of author Dr Kanani's knowledge is quite amazing and hugely varied; what the reader learns ranges from finding out that red was one of the first colours used in pre-historic art to learning why it is also the colour of a baboon's bottom!

The facts are both fun and informative and illustrations by Liz Kay take the reader right through a vibrant colour palette and are so visually stimulating for a young reader. Colourful fonts, quirky captions and short, nicely divided paragraphs make the book lively and engaging to read and dip in and out of repeatedly.

After each colour is explored , the book cleverly goes 'beyond the rainbow' to look at the dark and those colours that the human eye cannot see. The science of how our brains and eyes work together to see different shades is so clearly and concisely explained.

I loved the quick 'at a glance' paragraph at the start of each section detailing the wavelength of each of the colours quite simply. There is so much new information to absorb as well as answers to age old questions such as 'Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes?' Of course, the book also answers its own title and you will find out if you can actually see rainbows in Space.  It was moving to see the author and illustrator are sure to include the importance of rainbows as symbols in our current lives.

This is a brilliant, excitingly informative and really warm-hearted look at all things bright and beautiful and will be wonderful to return to again and again.

128 pages / Reviewed by Jenny Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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