Fans of How It’s Made will love this fresh, irreverent look at the science and story behind glitter.
If you love glitter, this book is for you. If you hate glitter, this book is also for you.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about glitter. But how much do you know about the tiny, shiny confetti? What makes glitter glitter? Why does it stick to everything? Who invented it? How is it made? Is glitter bad for the environment?
Chris Barton’s informative wit and Chaaya Prabhat's vibrant art make Glitter Everywhere sparkle as it covers the good, the bad, and shiny of all things glitter.
About the Author
Chris Barton is the author of many picture books, including New York Times bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor winner The Day-Glo Brothers, Orbis Pictus honoree Dazzle Ships, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, included on twenty-one state reading lists. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Chaaya Prabhat is a graphic designer, lettering artist, and the illustrator of Bracelets for Bina's Brothers. She holds an MA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Chennai, India. www.chaayaprabhat.com
At last, a material known to every crafter for its almost-supernatural tendency to spreadeverywhere gets its due. Barton opens by explaining what “iridescence” is, speculating about itsvisual attractiveness and pointing out the places it can be observed in nature, from feathers andmica to the elytra of beetles. He details early examples of its use in art and decoration beforeoffering a history of its modern manufacture (initially known as mineral “flitter,” then “slivers” ofplastic before companies like Glitterex gave it its current name) and some of the many uses towhich it has been put, including cupcakes and mixtures with Ash Wednesday ashes to “signalthe welcoming of LGBTQ+ worshippers.” Its downsides are also noted, such as the use of childlabor to mine mica and the fact that the bulk of it is by definition a microplastic and contributessubstantially to pollution. Closing with references to efforts to create biodegradable andsustainably produced alternative glitters, he urges readers to “shimmer more thoughtfully” androunds up sources and resources for further enlightenment. Visual sparkle is added by Prabhat’spainted images of a racially diverse cast of mostly children investigating or celebrating theirglittery world amid showers of brightly hued dots. A shining example of a seeming niche filler thatturns out to have significant relevance for an astonishing range of issues and interests.
—Booklist, starred review
The whats, whys, and hows of glitter.
Barton began his successful writing career with a book about shining colors, The Day-Glo Brothers (2009). Here, he tackles another showy subject. In an engaging, conversational narrative, he explains why glitter sparkles, speculates on why humans like sparkly, shiny things, and looks back at historical uses. He describes glittery bits made from the wings of beetles in ancient Egypt and from mica in civilizations around the world. Barton also examines the etymology of glitter. (It was once called flitter.) Then he turns to modern glitter, made from plastics, touching on the manufacturing process as well as glitter’s small size (measurable in microns) and uses, with special attention to Mardi Gras. Barton explains why glitter clings so easily to anything it touches and unpacks environmental concerns about microplastics, which often end up in the ocean. He mentions the more recent innovation of biodegradable glitter and problems with mica mining. Throughout Prabhat’s lively digitally created art, three young people follow the investigation. On one spread, a dark-skinned child with Afro puffs peers at glitter through a microscope while a light-skinned child with long, dark brown hair uses tweezers, and a brown-skinned child gazes through a magnifying glass. There’s humor, too, mostly related to glitter’s clinginess. The author ends on a hopeful note, praising “the steps humans are taking to shimmer more thoughtfully.”
An intriguing, entertaining investigation sure to catch readers’ attention. (author’s and illustrator’s notes, further reading, selective bibliography)