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The Little Universe, episode 3

I wish I could say this episode has been inspired by the beauty of the Norwegian fjords, because I have just returned from them, and it is such a beautiful and inspiring place, but alas it has not. Despite that, it has been lovingly crafted with a woozy head, partly for spending the last 7 days on a very rocky boat, partly for consuming too many cocktails on said rocky boat.

So, on with episode 3 of The Little Universe? Yes? Let's go…


In episode 2, we described the little Universe as 'very heavy and very hot'. 'Hot' is an easy enough term for a young reader to understand, and if the thing you're describing as hot is a fire or an oven, or even the Sun, then great. But what about something conceptual, as is the little Universe we have presented here? Well, then it helps a great deal to describe how something is hot.

Fast-moving particles, right? Sure. But what do 'fast-moving particles' mean to a kid? Not that much. Most young people (and even many adults) envisage particles as little things flying around. This probably comes from the way we are taught to draw atoms in school. You remember: the bobbly nucleus with the little balls whizzing around it in rings. And also particle arrangements in solids, liquids and gases.

I thought birds were a beautiful and easy-to-understand analogy for this. It also helps to use something living, as it is easier to imagine them becoming 'hot and flustered' when confined to a small space. Sure, I could have just left the description as 'heavy and hot', but I really wanted to evoke the image of how incredible dense and energetic the little Universe is.

Make sure you tune in next time, where, excitingly, our little Universe will be little no longer.


Laurent is a children's editor and illustrator who lives in London with her two cats and a rabbit. If she wasn't an editor she'd be a paleontologist, and if she wasn't a human she'd be a dinosaur. Her favourite dinosaur is Triceratops. Follow her on Twitter: @mrs_laurent

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  1. @Amy Oh, you just wait!
    @quarksparrow Well, mostly. Watercolour, then pencils, then I might do some photoshop touchups on any areas I'm unhappy with 🙂

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