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Alien Worlds: Your Guide to Extraterrestrial Life (National Geographic Kids) Hardcover – November 12, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—After a brief overview of star life cycles, habitable zones, and how scientists conduct the search for Earth-like planets, the book presents the ecosystems and possible life forms of several imaginary planets. These worlds are based on actual planets observed outside our solar system, and the author makes clear connections between a given planet's characteristics (higher gravity than Earth, for example) and the effects on the alien life that evolved there (six-legged creatures reduce the weight load per leg). However, the transition between facts and fantasy is abrupt and may leave young readers confused about which content is real science and which is, as the book says, "scientifically based speculation." Readers with no background in the topic would be better served by the straightforward explanations in Mark Brake's The Alien Hunter's Handbook, which has a similarly jaunty, humorous tone. The digitally painted images, some based on polymer clay models, are not up to par with National Geographic's usual stunning photography but will be fun for browsers and fans of monster movie special effects. Back matter includes a complicated clay modeling project and extensive Web and print resources.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

About the Author

DAVID A. AGUILAR is the Director of Science Information at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A naturalist, astronomer, author and artist, David's expertise lies in showing us the fascinating connections between the universe and ourselves.

He is author/illustrator of seven National Geographic books: "ALIEN WORLDS" "SPACE ENCYCLOPEDIA" and its primer "PLANETS, STARS, AND GALAXIES: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universe", winner 2008 VOYA Award; the popular "13 PLANETS", winner 2011 Eureka Gold Award and "SUPER STARS!"
 
His work has featured on the BBC, History Channel's "UNIVERSE", ABC News, Time magazine, US News, CNN, NY Times, USA Today, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, and Scientific American.


He is a Smithsonian Scholar Enrichment Lecturer and Leader for Harvard Study Tours. In 2010, asteroid 1990DA was named to honor his contributions to science education.
 
David and wife Shirley reside near Cambridge and part-time at their observatory outside Aspen, CO. For more information see: aspenskies.com
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: National Geographic Kids
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426311109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426311109
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Internationally recognized author, lecturer, astronomy expert, naturalist and space artist, David's expertise lies in showing us the fascinating connections between the universe and ourselves.

He is the AWARD-WINNING author and illustrator of seven National Geographic books including: "ALIEN WORLDS"; "SPACE ENCYCLOPEDIA: A TOUR OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND"; "SUPER STARS!" and the popular "13 PLANETS", winner 2011 Eureka Gold Award. Smithsonian Books will publish his next three books beginning with "COSMIC CATASTROPHES" in 2015.

He has been featured on the BBC, History Channel's "UNIVERSE" Series, ABC News, Time magazine, US News, CNN, NY Times, USA Today, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Scientific American, and NPR among many others.

David is the past Director of Public Affairs and Science Information at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; past Marketing Communications Director for Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation; past Director of the Fiske Planetarium and Science Center and the producer of the Science Discovery Program at University of Colorado Boulder; and former Marketing Director for PBS's Emmy-winning NOVA series, Evolution.

In 2015 he joined the New Horizons Spacecraft Team as part of NASA's "Mission to Pluto" to lead media communications on the Pluto flyby in July 2015.

As a Smithsonian Scholar Enrichment Lecturer and Harvard Alumni Association Travel Leader, he illustrates the dynamic connections between science and nature of the regions he visits - always fresh, always changing, always something vibrant and new!

In 2010, asteroid 1990DA was designated to honor his internationally recognized contributions to science education and public outreach. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the newly proposed Aspen Science Center; member IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists), and the AAS (American Astronomical Society). He has the added distinction of being a Grammy-nominated musician along with his former band on "Love is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970".

David and wife Shirley reside at their home and observatory under the very dark and starry skies outside Aspen, CO.

For more information please visit: www.aspenskies.com and www.davidaguilar.org

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book posits what life on other "Alien worlds" might be like. The planets are described including stats such as their size, orbit, gravity etc. There are a few illustrations and descriptions of the alien lifeforms for each each planet. The illustrations are vivid and captivating. My nine year old son loves this book. It's really gotten him thinking...
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Format: Hardcover
Alien Worlds succeeds in blending science, art and creativity. It provides a framework that children can use to create their own alien worlds that aren't just a product of imagination, but also incorporate elements of science and art. I found the concept engaging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imaginative child's book with lots of delightfully weird art. The text and science behind the art is an interesting mix of science and imagination with a real effort at believability . Just thought provoking enough to make the reader stop and wonder a bit without creating nightmarish, deliberately ugly monsters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great ride for the imagination of both adults and middle school students. It would be a great starter for class discussion in a class room. The art and design are a real plus.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My grandson loved this book. He read the whole book as soon as he got it. I am very pleased with the purchase of this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought for my son who loves it the animations are very cool and the book is very interesting. Would recommend.
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