Calvin, Center of the Universe

The Beginning

Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Doug Gonterman is a writer and entrepreneur. For 25 years, he wrote award-winning advertising copy for some of today's most recognizable brands. In 2013, he - along with his wife - invented a new stage one kid's spoon and launched the consumer brand NumNum. When he isn't writing, he enjoys coastal living in Florida with his wife and kids.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

I think I must be the center of the universe – at least, my universe. I’m sure you’re the center of your universe. Calvin is the center of his universe. How do we know? Calvin can explain. He says everything revolves around him, from his beloved dog who runs around his feet, begging for attention, to the chicken nuggets on Wednesday night that swirl around that inevitable black hole, which, of course, is Calvin’s empty stomach. And then there’s the grandparents who shower Calvin with gifts and so much more. But, let’s get serious. If Calvin is the center of his universe and we’re the center of our own universe, then we all need to take control of our lives and our universe. Life is not something to take lightly or to take advantage of. Just ask Calvin and seize the moment.

Doug Gonterman’s picture book, Calvin, Center of the Universe, puts young readers in their own spaceship to take control of their universe. It’s an empowering story, full of fun and adventure and a few quirky lines, too. After all, what’s life without a little bit of humor. The plot follows Calvin as he analyses his reasons for believing he’s the center of the universe. Told in simple language, this is a great book to help young readers work on their reading skills. The bright, colorful illustrations are full of life and will certainly make young readers chuckle. Calvin is, after all, quite the six-year-old little character that one can’t help but adore. Calvin’s sense of logic will match that of young readers and they’ll certainly think more deeply about their place in their universe. Take the leap and follow the adventure to find your own center, your own place of being. Let Calvin lead the way.

Philip Van Heusen

Using childhood logic, Calvin proves that he is the center of the universe. Calvin, Center of the Universe: The Beginning by Doug Gonterman is a delightful book for children. While children need to learn how to use logic, they also need to understand logical fallacies. Calvin’s logical progression makes excellent sense, but when reason leads to a wrong conclusion, then the steps of logic must be in error. This is a wonderful book for parents to teach their children how to use reasoning and identify errors. It is also helpful for teaching humility, as a lack of humility leads many to err in their logic. We all need to learn to take charge of our own universe. Calvin is only six, and also wants to share all he sees with others. He may think he is the center of the universe but later realizes he is not alone.

Have you ever noticed that, as you look around, you are at the center of all you see? Go ahead, try it. No matter what direction you look, you are in the middle. Now look north and then south. No matter how far north you can see or how far south, you are right dab in the center of the two directions. As long as we use ourselves as the point of reference, our importance will be magnified. Only when we move our reference point away from ourselves can we see that we are not the center of everything. In Calvin, Center of the Universe by Doug Gonterman, Calvin thinks life and everything else revolves around him and he honestly believes it. This is cute in young children, but it is the responsibility of parents to teach their children that they are not the center of the universe. They are just as important as everyone else, but they are not the only person in the world. Teach your child they are worthy even if they are not the center.

Jennie More

Calvin, Center of the Universe: The Beginning by Doug Gonterman is the story of Calvin, who considers himself the center of the universe. This charming storybook is about a young boy who believes he is special because many good things that make him happy surround him daily. His evidence is in everyday occurrences like his dogs happily circling him when he gets home, the ants circling him when he doodles on the driveway, the fish circling him at the beach, his grandparents giving him gifts and sweets, and much more. Calvin considers himself unique because around him are the things he loves, and you see him smiling in every picture.

Calvin, Center of the Universe: The Beginning by Doug Gonterman is a delightful, refreshing, and magical story about a charismatic young boy named Calvin who embodies the joy and wonder of a child's mindset. Calvin views his life's simple pleasures and comforts in a magical light and considers himself the center of the universe because of it. The story encapsulates the pure happiness you feel as a child before the world's ills corrupt it. I love this story because I think it reminds adults and children of the little joys and privileges you experience when young. Here you see Calvin as a young boy recognizing how wonderful his life is because of these small essential opportunities for joy surrounding him. The colorful, bright illustrations beautifully depict the magical universe in which Calvin is the center and the wonder and love Calvin experiences.