Big most of the questions may be in this companion to Stephen Law's Really, Really Big Questions About Life, the Universe, and Everything (2009, also illustrated by Choksi), but too many of Brake's answers barely qualify as placeholders. Ranging in scope from "Why do we think there was a beginning to the universe at all?" to "Is space smelly?" (yes), the queries, placed one to three per spread, headline breezy comments that perhaps concentrate too much on engagement and not enough on substance. The author informs readers that a clock traveling at 50 percent of light speed would be 14 percent slower than one left on Earth, but he doesn't really explain why; he delivers a baffling explanation of why space is dark; he asserts that wormholes may be theoretically possible but provides no scientific backing; he omits space law in considering "Who owns space?"—in short, he doesn't deliver. The design frequently places black print on dark, highly saturated backgrounds, which will cause readers to squint or give up altogether—probably a good thing. (glossary, index, further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-12)
Really, Really Big Questions About Space and Timeby Mark Brake, Nishant Choksi
Does the universe have a shape? What makes sunshine? Do stars explode? How do you build a time machine? Do aliens look like me? When it comes to the big questions about astrophysics, kids go right for the interesting stuff. Professor Mark Brake makes great use of this as he serves up a heaping helping of kid-friendly space science. Through an entertaining Q&A
Does the universe have a shape? What makes sunshine? Do stars explode? How do you build a time machine? Do aliens look like me? When it comes to the big questions about astrophysics, kids go right for the interesting stuff. Professor Mark Brake makes great use of this as he serves up a heaping helping of kid-friendly space science. Through an entertaining Q&A format, hip retro illustrations, mind teasers, quotations, amusing anecdotes, and plenty of great research, kids will get a thought-provoking introduction to the work of great scientific minds including Newton, Galileo, and Einstein while they have their most interesting (and oddball) questions answered in style.
Meet the Author
Professor Mark Brake is an author, broadcaster and communicator of science. He is an academic, based at the University of Glamorgan, UK, who writes popular science books. Mark has done science communication work in film, television and radio on five continents, including work with NASA, Seattle's Science Fiction Museum, and the BBC.
Nishant Choksi is an exciting Brighton-based illustrator who has created artworks for the Guardian, The Independent, the Times, The Wall Street Journal, NewScientist and Vodafone. She most recently illustrated Really, Really Big Questions.
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