Podcast Interview with Mélina Mangal, Author of The Vast Wonder of the World

By Libby Stille, Publicist

Today on The Lerner Podcast we talk about researching, picture book biographies, summer reading, and more with The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just author Mélina Mangal.

Mélina Mangal
Mélina Mangal

The Vast Wonder of the World is a picture book biography of Ernest Everett Just, the first recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal in 1915. His keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about the origins of life. Through stunning illustrations by Luisa Uribe and Mélina Mangal’s lyrical prose, this picture book presents the life and accomplishments of this long overlooked African American scientific pioneer.

The Lerner Podcast with Mélina Mangal

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Read a transcript of the podcast.

Books discussed


The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just, written by Mélina Mangal and illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Carter G. Woodson Book Award

NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

★”A must-purchase picture book biography of a figure sure to inspire awe and admiration among readers.”—starred, School Library Journal

Mélina’s picture book biography picks

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, written by Chris Barton and illustrated Ekua Holmes

Sweet Dreams, Sarah, written by Vivian Kirkfield and illustrated by Chris Ewald

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Seeds of Change, written by Jen Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Sadler

The Vast Wonder of the World excerpt

Listen to Mélina read the first pages of The Vast Wonder of the World.

Check out more episodes of The Lerner Podcast.

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