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Planets: Neighbors in Space

Planets: Neighbors in Space

by Jeanne Bendick, Caroline Brodie (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Textbook-like introductions, with full-color paintings on every page. Some key words are printed in bold type, and the terms are loosely defined in the text. There is no glossary. Bendick's confusion and error quotient is not quite high enough to dismiss these books out of hand, but in most cases other more interesting and accurate books exist. In Planets , the diagram of the solar system makes no attempt to use scale, and Bendick compounds the problem by speaking of the ``big space'' between Mars and Jupiter, while ignoring the progressively larger spaces between Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and sometimes Pluto. She also calls Mercury the smallest planet, although the insets correctly show Pluto as smaller. Far more enticing and accurate is Joanna Cole's The Magic Schoolbus Lost in the Solar System (Scholastic, 1990). Franklyn Branley's The Planets in Our Solar System (HarperCollins, 1987) has little description of the planets, but is absolute tops for conveying a sense of size and distance. Stars tries to describe its subject without ever mentioning nuclear fission or light-years. Sun is a bit better than the above titles, but its account of how the sun produces energy is oversimplified to the point of obscurity, and it thoroughly misstates the sunspot cycle. Simon's Stars and The Sun (both Morrow, 1986) are more attractive and less confusing. Branley's The Sun: Our Nearest Star (HarperCollins, 1988) is more limited in scope, but is beautifully clear on size, distance, and how we depend on the sun's energy. Universe concentrates on the idea of the light-year, with a too-brief mention of the Big Bang, other galaxies, and ways our senses fool us in astronomical observations. Simon's Galaxies (Morrow, 1988) combines a brief description of light-years with more pictures of galaxies than most readers need. The reviewed titles illustrate the dangers and difficulties of simplifying science; others have navigated these shoal waters more successfully.-- Margaret L. Chatham, formerly of The Smithtown Library, NY

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Early Bird Astronomy Ser.
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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