School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-8-Though padded in places, and astronomically priced, these planetary look-sees take other introductions, such as Michael D. Cole's Venus (Enslow, 2001), Elaine Landau's Saturn (Watts, 1999), or Seymour Simon's great but dated titles Venus (1992) and Saturn (1985, both Morrow), to the next level of detail. As the Cassini-Huygens probe is still en route, the authors draw on previous missions and observations for Saturn. They devote separate chapters to the history of saturnology, the planet's composition, its grand rings, its array of small moons, its largest and in some ways strangest moon Titan, and puzzles that haven't yet been solved. There are a few loose ends, however, in that the authors never do explain how Saturn could have a "rocky inner core," but "no surface," for instance, or how it came to block Mars from view in 1027. Venus is similarly arranged, though because that planet is moonless, its atmosphere and tortured-looking terrain come under extended scrutiny. Both volumes feature generous numbers of color photos and artists' conceptions, adequately reproduced and with composites or color enhancements noted. They also include profiles of some of the men and women who have studied these planets, and close with chronologies, plus a proper array of summary charts, books, and Web sites. Overall, readers will come away from these titles with a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, the wonders and mysteries of these fellow travelers in our solar system.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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