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This title explores:The myths and the modern meanings behind the constellationsWhy each constellation has a certain nameWhere they are found in the night skyThe best times for spotting constellationsLooks at how humans have explored outer space using different space craft.
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Eva M Hans is Senior Lecturer in charge of the Planetarium and Observatory at South Tyneside College, England. She is also Vice-President of the Association for Astronomy Education and secretary of the British Association of Planetaria.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-4-Poor writing, mishandled visuals, and careless production sink these series titles below acceptable standards. Space Mysteries is more carefully written than the other two, and mines a promising field, as nearly every astronomical discovery prompts new puzzles. After a strong start, though, it turns into a standard account of exploding stars, black holes, and the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, accompanied by unexceptional art that includes a view of the solar system strewn with empty caption bubbles. Comets opens with interest-heightening accounts of the Tunguska blast and 1997's Hale-Bopp comet. However, it then goes on to offer an undifferentiated mix of photos and artists' conceptions. They include an artificially dense field of asteroids that all resemble mottled, green rock candy; a filler painting inanely captioned, "Objects, such as comets or asteroids, orbit the sun"; and, beneath the self-contradictory "Inside a stony iron meteorite," a photo of the outside of a riddled metallic meteorite misleadingly backlit so that it seems to glow from within. In Constellations, hapless young sky watchers are urged to "Look for a star shaped like a question mark the wrong way around," and are assured that "You can tell that the Hyades are closer to Earth than the Seven Sisters, because the Hyades cluster looks bigger in the sky-." Pass these up in favor of Cynthia Nicolson's Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites (1999) and other entrants in the "Starting with Space" series (all Kids Can), or Seymour Simon's space books (Morrow).
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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