________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007


The Jumbo Book of Space.

Cynthia Pratt Nicolson & Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
208 pp. pbk., $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-020-5.

Subject Headings:
Outer space-Juvenile literature.
Solar system-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4



Why does the Moon look blue sometimes?

The Moon can look blue when there is lots of dust and dirt in the air, such as after a volcano erupts or a forest burns. The dust and ash act like filters and allow only the blue light in moonlight to shine through.

Every few years there are two Full Moons in one month. The second full Moon is also called a Blue Moon, although no one knows why. But if you hear the saying "once in a Blue Moon," you know people mean something that doesn't happen often.


Written in question-and-answer format, this information-packed book provides answers to kids' commonly asked questions about the solar system. There are 18 main chapters whose topics cover the planets, the moon, the sun, space travel, stars, comets, asteroids and meteorites, the possibility of life on other planets, and galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The information is current, as evidenced by the reference to Pluto, which, after some controversy, was named a "dwarf planet" in 2006. There is one slight discrepancy in the information: in one part of the book, it states that the sun will last for another 6 billion years, yet in another, the number is given as 5 million years (not that any of the readers will be around then). In addition to the questions and answers, each chapter includes an ancient legend or myth pertaining to the subject. For example, in the chapter about stars, there is a story from India which tells how the brightest star, Sirius, appeared in the sky. There are also fun and easy experiments to try. These step-by-step experiments can be done at home with materials that are readily available and with little or no parental supervision (if adult help is required, there is a cautionary note). Readers will be able to make a balloon rocket, an eclipse of the moon and find out why sunsets are red, just to name a few.

      The text is written in simple language, with even the most complex concepts explained in a straightforward, down-to-earth manner that readers can understand. Plenty of colour photographs, fact boxes and charts, along with Slavin's wonderful illustrations and diagrams, not only enhance the text, but also provide additional information. A table of contents, a glossary and an index are included.

      With its abundant information, fun experiments and kid-friendly format, this book is bound to be popular with young space aficionados—well worthy of purchase!

Highly Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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