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Children's LiteratureAuthor Bailey tells the story of gravity in a picture book format with colorful illustrations by Matthew Lilly. The story begins with Zac jumping out of bed, taking a shower, brushing his teeth, getting dressed, and leaving the house. As he walks down the path, he catches a baseball someone has thrown and he gets into his car. The author then goes on to explain the things Zac has done, from jumping out of bed to catching that ball, are all about a natural force called gravity, which pulls everyone and everything toward the center of the earth. Gravity keeps your feet on the ground, lets objects roll downhill or fall when you release them. After months of astronaut training, Zac finally boards a space shuttle. As he travels upward, the force of gravity pushes against Zac like a giant hand. Zac's routine on board the shuttle is examined, from watching animals and recording how gravity affects them, to his own meals and sleeping arrangements. Two weeks go by and Zac is returning to Earth. As the shuttle returns into the Earth's atmosphere, gravity begins to pull Zac and the crew against their chairs. They return safely and Zac knows he would jump at the chance to fly into space again. Good, full-page illustrations help to tell the story of gravity, as well as science experiments, a glossary, and Web sites. 2006, Picture Window Books/Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 10.
—Della A. Yannuzzi