The Planets

The Planets

by Cynthia Pratt Nicolson, Bill Slavin
     
 

Did you know that Earth and Venus are almost the same size? Or that four of the nine planets in our solar system have rings? If you'd like to find out more about the planets, or try some experiments and read true science stories and legends, then The Planets is the book for you.

Discover how the solar system began, whether life ever existed on Mars and how to find

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Overview

Did you know that Earth and Venus are almost the same size? Or that four of the nine planets in our solar system have rings? If you'd like to find out more about the planets, or try some experiments and read true science stories and legends, then The Planets is the book for you.

Discover how the solar system began, whether life ever existed on Mars and how to find some planets in the night sky. Read how, long ago, the movements of the planets were thought to affect life on Earth, then set up the planets on the sidewalk in front of your house. You can even make a solar system out of planets you can eat.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tina Hudak
Learning about our solar system is manageable and interesting with this addition to the series "Starting with Space." After a general overview, the planets are discussed in detail. Each is introduced with a teaser, which grabs the reader's attention. The chapter on Venus asks, "Have you ever wished upon a star?" Questions are the tool for presenting the most well known information, followed by the "Facts" sections listing more obscure information, including planets' rotation and orbit cycles and the origination of the names. Seven "Try It!" pages offer simple experiments. These facilitate tactile and kinesthetic styles of learning. For example, to duplicate a stormy planetary surface, food coloring is added to a pan of milk. The experimenter lies over a chair and spins the pan to "Watch the swirling bands and pretend you are in a spaceship approaching Jupiter." The illustrations are generous and vary according to the text. NASA photographs of the planet surfaces are included, but representational watercolors, often humorous, are used primarily to highlight facts. There is a one-page glossary and an index. The Planets is a good introduction, especially for those who enjoy visual reinforcement of text.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-Aimed at readers who know a little and want to know a little more, these above-average surveys include simple projects and briefly told myths. Using a question-and-answer format, Nicolson begins her tour of The Planets with Mercury, systematically describing local conditions ("What would it be like to visit...?"), major physical features ("Why does Venus look so bright?"), and basic facts, such as year length and size compared to Earth's. She also offers a page of folktales; anecdotal versions of the story of Galileo, a discussion of the controversial Martian meteorite recently found in Antarctica, and the like; and six low-tech projects, including an edible model solar system made from fruits and seeds. Fleshing out The Stars with more projects, plus myths from India, ancient Greece, and elsewhere, the author covers the differences between stars and other astronomical objects, constellations, black holes, galaxies, and the history of the universe. Both books are illustrated with small, clear watercolors, supplemented by occasional full-color photographs, and end with unusually detailed indexes. Nicolson's claim in Planets that scientists aren't sure whether or not extrasolar planets exist has been rendered moot by recent evidence, but otherwise her facts and speculations are well chosen and accurately expressed. Equally useful for scientific and cultural study, these titles are worthwhile additions to any collection.-John Peters, New York Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606182331
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/1999
Series:
Starting with Space Ser.

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