How to Make a Planet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth

How to Make a Planet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth

5.0 1
by Jean Camden, Scott Forbes
     
 

Young readers can follow along as two children perform an experiment in which they create a new planet, replicating in ten steps the exact processes that formed Earth. Within that context, author Scott Forbes manages to clearly explain basic concepts that span the science curriculum, including: chemistry (atoms, protons, neutrons, elements), physics (gravity),

Overview

Young readers can follow along as two children perform an experiment in which they create a new planet, replicating in ten steps the exact processes that formed Earth. Within that context, author Scott Forbes manages to clearly explain basic concepts that span the science curriculum, including: chemistry (atoms, protons, neutrons, elements), physics (gravity), astronomy (star formation, supernovas, galaxies, the Milky Way, black holes), earth science (temperature, atmosphere, the water cycle, surface plates and how they've changed) and biology (cells, single-celled organisms, evolution, extinction).

Personal asides and exclamations about what the children are experiencing, along with lively and fun color illustrations by Jean Camden throughout, bring energy to the text and keep the story moving. There are helpful sidebars in each chapter that highlight or expand upon the nearby concepts. Reference tools include two easy-to-understand time lines, including one that covers the history of planet Earth from the Big Bang to today, with time going forward on one side to show how long after the Big Bang an event occurred, and time going backward on the other to show how many years ago it happened. This concept is reinforced in every chapter with a ?Time Check? box containing bulleted information that describes what's happening. Further rounding out this comprehensive book are an Amazing Facts page, a glossary and an index. With the current emphasis on teaching literacy across all subject areas, this book, with its use of a narrative story to explore scientific ideas, would make an excellent resource for science teachers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Forbes offers a faux guide to creating a planet, with the second-person narration letting readers know exactly what they’ll need, starting with “a really, really Big Bang” (“it has to be so strong that it will go on for billions of billions of years,” he adds helpfully). Through this frame, Forbes enthusiastically describes the formation of atmosphere around Earth, followed by oceans, and the first stirrings of life: “the bacteria were primitive and nothing much to look at (even through a microscope), but they were alive!” It’s an expansive topic, but tightly narrated paragraphs, lighthearted humor, and Camden’s cartoon illustrations (including a boy in a red T-shirt who stands in for readers) keep it within reach. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 5–8—Forbes has penned a personalized and simplified process of creating the Earth in 10 steps, advising readers who wish to create a planet to "Begin with a Bang!" (which details the big bang theory), "Add a Little Atmosphere" (a look at gases, rain, and meteorites), and "Shift and Shape" (a discussion of the Earth's crust), ending with tips on how each of us can protect our planet. A page of "Amazing Facts," a three-page glossary, and an index make this book a helpful resource. Distance is given in kilometers first, followed by miles in parentheses, and temperature is given in Celsius, followed by Fahrenheit. The author expects readers to have a certain body of knowledge (for example, kilometers, miles, Celsius, and Fahrenheit are not explained in the glossary or indexed). Budding scientists will appreciate this offering, and those who may not be initially interested will still be captivated by the book's approachable explanations. Information is presented in bite-size bits, with cartoonish illustrations, which should make for fun browsing. The approach and title may be quirky, but this is a solid nonfiction resource for libraries.—Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
A boy who looks like he's visiting from a digital cartoon film provides step-by-step instructions so his friends can build a planet just like the one we inhabit. From a bang-up beginning to finishing touches (including human beings) and some suggestions for planet care, this lighthearted approach to the origins of the universe, the Earth and its inhabitants covers 13.7 billion years of development in 64 pages of short, snappy prose. Lively design, liberal use of comic-style illustrations, text presented in small plates (usually a single paragraph with a heading) and frequent time checks make this information easily digestible. Each step covers four to six pages. The author also introduces big numbers, small particles, and long time and distance scales. He covers star life and planet formation, even including the most common theory about the origin of our moon. Timelines at the beginning and near the end will help readers get a sense of the whole. Distilling this much science is a challenge, and space permits the exploration of only a few alternate theories. There are points on which specialists may disagree, occasional oversimplifications and omissions, and facts overtaken by new discoveries. (The book was first published in Australia in 2012.) But overall, the content is sound and likely to provide a solid structure for further learning. A lively and original approach to a complex subject. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781894786881
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
03/01/2014
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
1,322,832
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1070L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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How to Make a Planet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
The story starts out with a timeline leading up to present day Earth and continues with a discussion on how universe was formed. The book takes you step by step through the process of how the universe was form in very kid-friendly (and adult) language. The illustrations are wonderful. They will definitely appeal to the upper elementary crowd. When we do our Earth and Space Science unit, my students are always asking me questions (more so than they usually do in science) because they find it so fascinating. I often find myself lacking in the knowledge to answer some of the questions they ask me (what exactly is a black whole?) The information in this book will allow me to explain it much better. All through the book they have a "time check" which allow the reader to see where they are in the creation of the universe. I definitely think this would help my students to understand how long it actually took for our universe to form. Other topics included are: seasons, composition of Earth, the atmosphere, water cycle, Pangea, and how to care for out planet. I loved this book. The information contained in it will definitely be making its way into my science lessons. The illustrations were a delight and added to the overall package of the book. This is definitely a book I for anyone teaching the solar system!