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Astronaut to Zodiac: A Young Stargazer's Alphabet

Astronaut to Zodiac: A Young Stargazer's Alphabet

by Roger Ressmeyer

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-- A coffee-table book that is long on glitz and short on substance. The spectacular full-color photographs will attract browsers, but the half-dozen or so sentences devoted to such topics as biosphere, craters, Io, and rockets do not even begin to scratch the surface as introductions. They are clear and understandable, and do a nice job of explaining the illustrations. However, the description of the spacesuit worn by astronauts mentions only its temperature and air supply functions and omits pressurization. In describing an eclipse, Ressmeyer states, ``The only time it is safe to look at the Sun is during the complete darkness of totality. Looking directly at the Sun at other times can cause blindness and is very dangerous.'' Experts discourage looking at it at any time. Some choices of terms (dust tails, habitats, walk in space, and quest as in ``humanity's quest in space'') seem rather forced. For an astronomical overview, stick with more informative titles such as Maurer's The Nova Space Explorer's Guide (Potter, 1988), which has equally spectacular illustrations. --Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Carolyn Phelan
As a way of learning about space, an alphabet book offers a scattershot approach with little or no organization of materials. Still, many "young stargazers" will happily browse through this book for the pleasure of looking at the exceptionally clear, full-color photographs. While a few of the shots came from NASA, most are Ressmeyer's work. Each page includes an introductory topical sentence in large type and a paragraph on the same subject. For the letter "M", for example, the sentence is "The silvery band in the night sky is called the Milky Way"; the paragraph describes the Milky Way (with a note to see also "galaxy") and how it looks through binoculars. A beautiful photo (taken in Chile) shows the Milky Way in the night sky. The book can be used with a wide age range. Younger children will probably sit still only for the initial sentence, while older kids can read the paragraph for themselves. A good additional title for public and school libraries.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.45(w) x 11.42(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 11 Years

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