Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Earth: it's history, composition, and position in space is the subject of this new entry in a space science series that already has volumes about The Sun and The Moon. Besides clear writing, clean visuals, and organized page layouts, what's appealing about this series is its multi-faceted approach. Pages of factual prose alternate with related stories and legends and experiments for trying at home. It's a 40-page package decorated with cartoons, photographs, and drawings; and it has something for everyone! The "I need to see it to believe it" learner; the "Let me listen to a story about it" learner; AND the "I've got to do it myself!!!" learner will all find something here that seems to speak just to them.
Children's Literature - Ru Story-Huffman
Written by the director of publications for the Science Museum of Minnesota, this book features a look at the planet upon which we live. Presented in short, informative chapters, this book is nicely illustrated and provides good information for young children. Topics discussed include the Earth's layers, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, seasons and weather, Earth's plants, and Earth's animals. A glossary of terms, section on facts about the Earth, and index are added enticements to this volume. Each section is short, yet presents good coverage. Boldface words used in the informative narrative can be found in the glossary, which is a very useful educational tool. This book would be useful in the classroom for a science unit on the Earth. In addition, it makes for nice, informative reading for children interested in the subject at hand. Teachers and parents will find this a good addition to their bookshelves.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4A broad scope makes these introductions useful and appealing; each includes not only basic scientific observations, but also briefly told myths and legends and instructions for easy, homespun demonstrationsall illustrated with a combination of color photos and lively cartoons. To capsule accounts of The Moon's physical history and features, Bourgeois adds explanations of phases and tides, a summary of lunar landings, and legends from around the world. After a look at the past and future of The Sun, she discusses its visible and invisible emissions, seasons, the ozone layer, and the northern lightsthe last accompanied by a particularly spectacular photo taken from space. Including instructions for a vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano, Nicolson describes the effects both of humans and of plate tectonics on The Earth, as well as our planet's origins. The interspersed activities include appropriate cautionary notes (especially in The Sun), and generally require no supplies beyond balls, string, and mirrors. One of the most intriguing needs no supplies at all; readers are invited to pick a night when the full moon looks huge, then to note the change in apparent size when viewed from between the legs. The spacious page layout, question-and-answer structure, and informal tone make these titles less intimidating to unpracticed readers than books like E. C. Krupp's The Moon and You (Macmillan, 1993) or the "Eyewitness Science" series (DK). Despite some overlap, they make inviting gateways to the study of matters astronomical.John Peters, New York Public Library