This is part of the “First Encyclopedia” series focusing on Space. It is aimed at young readers up to early middle grade. The book is high on pictures and low on text, with about 200 words on the universe, galaxies, the solar system, the Sun, the Earth and Moon, Mercury/Venus/Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, space exploration, satellites, and the International Space Station.
What I Liked
The section on galaxies includes the standard prose and big pics of the Milky Way, but it also incudes a pic of the Milky Way above mountains (a night landscape) and three break-out pics showing irregular galaxies (which looks more like a globular cluster, to be honest), a spiral galaxy, and an elliptical galaxy. They look a little closer to what you might see through a telescope than a big Hubble-quality deep dive, which is great. The section on stars is nicely done in terms of showing colours, mentioning if hot or cold, and magnitude (without getting into actual definitions of magnitude). The individual planetary sections are fine, nothing special, although Jupiter is better done than the rest, with good detail on the bands and storms.
What I Didn’t Like
The solar system section is a bit basic in terms of the overall composition of the solar system from the Sun all the way out to dwarf planet Pluto. It does include the asteroid belt, but more on structure would enhance the learning. I also found the section on the Sun really basic. However, I was the most disappointed with the section on the Moon. It shows basic phases, with real photos (not just sketches or artwork), but the photos are relatively terrible considering the quality of everything else. I have better photos with my smartphone and scope. Some of the overviews are dated, of course, no way around that, but under space exploration, they note the earth-based Keck telescopes; yet some of the photos IN the book are from Hubble, and it isn’t covered? It is mentioned in passing as part of the Satellite section.
The Bottom Line
A bit basic, but better than most for balance with some good sections
The last week has been a wasteland of productivity with many other things intervening. School, appointments, ambulance rides. Yeah, not a great week. Jacob checked in tonight on his book, Draconic Earth, finishing a chapter and starting a new one. Some of it is foreshadowing major pieces for his eventual conclusion. About 400 words in total. Andrea is still working on her “cancer journey” story, suitable for future blogging installments but for now, she is writing without editing as she goes. About 2700 words in total. I did a few blogs in the last week, but not much new writing. …Continue reading →
That’s just a fun fact that I wanted to share with you. I don’t know if riding in an ambulance is on the morbid side of your bucket list, one of those “well, I’d like to but not because I need to” activities, but well, I can check it off whatever list it was on. Sigh. I blame the cook So let’s have a small health recap. I have diabetes, under control with mild medication. I have reflux, also under control. Oh, and high blood pressure. And again, under control. I’m a maintenance worker basically. About 18 years ago, my …Continue reading →
Plot or Premise Part of an Interactive Explorer series, this book is aimed at kids, and includes flaps, pull tabs, wheels and acetates. The book is divided into two, with Section 1 aimed at the weather. It covers weather extremes, changing climate, floods, droughts, winds, big storms, thunder and hail, and extreme snow. What I Liked I was mainly reviewing the text to see what they shared about space in Section 2 for younger grades. Overall, it covers the night sky, star maps, suns and stars, the life of a star, constellations, galaxies, planets, the moon, smaller bodies, and exploring …Continue reading →
Plot or Premise The RASC Observer’s Handbook is the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s annual guide to help amateur astronomers with their hobby for the coming year. James Edgar is the editor of the annual edition. In the interest of full disclosure for my review, I am an active member of RASC Canada and have interacted with the editor online infrequently over the last few years. Review The guide is an obvious challenge to produce, as the level of the observers who buy it varies so widely. You have newbies who may not even have a telescope yet, but who …Continue reading →