The Worlds around Us: A Space Voyage

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ilene S. Goldman
This book is chock full of information for the budding space explorer. Our eleven-year-old guide Jason takes the reader along as he visits the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and six other planets before returning to Earth. Each double-page spread offers a close-up photograph of a planet's surface, punctuated by a white cartoonlike drawing of Jason visiting. Sidebars, written as Jason's diary, introduce us to each planet's atmosphere, temperature, and weather. There is almost too much information on each page, but the author anticipates this by inserting a four-page summary of key facts at the end of the book. While the information is a bit dense for reading from cover to cover, the book is an excellent first reference on space, including its bibliography, glossary and web site references. This could be a nice read for children eagerly interested in space, especially as a read-aloud to entice reluctant readers. A discerning reader may be disconcerted, however, that the setup has Jason inviting us to come along on the ride, ending with "So let's go! We'll have a fantastic time;" then the book is told all in first person, as he recounts his solo voyage. A minor problem, but there it is.
Kirkus Reviews
An imaginary space voyage is the device used to introduce seven planets and four moons of the solar system to middle-grade readers. Engaging informal diary entries are set on double-page spreads of photo-like illustrations. The spreads depict the traveler outlined as a cartoon character hitting a baseball, turning aerial somersaults, smelling an air sample, jetting among the rocks of Saturn's rings and swooshing in his rocket ship with "space-warp drive" before returning to earth, the only place providing humans with the water, food and air necessary to live. The backmatter includes fast facts (size, gravity, day, year, atmosphere, temperature and spacecraft visitors), a glossary, web sites and books for kids, as well as the author's bibliography and acknowledgments. While the information is up-to-date, the approach is superficial and occasionally misleading. Pair with Ken Crosswell's Ten Worlds (May 2006) or other titles that use actual photos and present their information straight, or save your money. (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761334057
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Exceptional Science Title for Intermediate Grades
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 37
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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