104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
A CHILD'S INTRODUCTION TO THE NIGHT SKY is one of those 'children's books' that should be read by the adults before passing it along! There is much to learn in this colorful, artistic and very informative survey of the stars, making many of the legends behind the constellations and mythologically named configuration of stars easy to visualize and understand. It is bound to provoke questions from the 'child readers', making adult homework or refresher course a must.
Writer Michael Driscoll thankfully does not 'dumb down' his readers but rather stimulates with concise and informed language. After an interesting Welcome to the Universe, he divides the book into sections: What's Up There - both what we can see and what we can't see; and Exploring What's Up There - what astronomers and astronauts do and what the reader can do. He then outlines a brief history of space, maps of the night skies, and adds succinct histories of the mythological characters for whom the star configurations are named.
Accompanying this informative and entertaining take on the night sky is the artwork of Meredith Hamilton that goes beyond illustration into the science of depiction of stars. Included in the book are glow in the dark sticker packs and 'star finders' that, while they may cheapen the book for adults, they probably will please the younger brother and sisters in the family. For an outing of learning about the stars this is a very good beginning - for everyone! Grady Harp, March 06
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2007
The subtitle of the book is the Story of the Stars, Planets and Constellations -- and How You Can Find Them in the Sky. It should read The Stars, The Planets, the Astronomers, the Universe and Everything. The books has definitions, factoids, readable text, stories, illustrations, pictures, a star wheel/star finder, stickers and everything that has anything to do with our world and our universe. Not for small children (too much text/ too much information), but the best introduction to astronomy I have seen for middle school and older children presented in a very very approachable/ user friendly format. Well done!
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2006
This was a birthday present for my great nephew. The book comes with stars to put on the ceiling of the room which he just went crazy for. He finds the book challenging as he is in the 1st grade but reads 3rd and this is a 5th grade book. He loves it and it goes really well with his telecope. I recommend this book for those children who are into the sky.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2009
Incredibly -- despite the title, this book is not just for children.
By far, it is simply the best available, most thorough introduction to the night sky and to astronomy, for curious people of all ages -- the sort of book that motivates every parent to tramp outside, book in hand, wearing eager smiles -- with or without the children!
Beautiful illustrations decorate and enhance the text. Everything is here: models which make it possible to easily visualize the size relationships of the planets in our solar system, as well as their distribution and the distances between them. The visible planets and major constellations are clearly identified, and helpful hints for finding them are provided. Packed with information that is not easily or readily found elsewhere, and packaged in an engaging format which is easily accessible. You don't even need a telescope to use this book in your own backyard. There are clear explanations of what to look for, what to see with the naked eye, and how to use binoculars and telescopes to get a better view. There are even glow-in-the-dark stickers to use in building your own night-sky model on your own bedroom ceiling or elsewhere. Truly, this is the astronomy book I've been looking for, all these years.
Very highly recommended. Simply delightful!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2007
We purchased this book for my daughter as a reward for a good report card. Her 1st grade class has been learning about space. While the book may seem a little advanced for first graders it is definitely a book that they can used to reference with an adult's help. The book is broken down in and way and written so that the common person without astronomy knowledge can learn from it and transfer that to the child. This book can also be used as a great resource for teachers teaching younger kids about our universe. Included with this book is a glow in the dark star chart that helps anyone find the constellations. This book provides an easy way to have quality time with a child that is also educational. If you are looking for a one stop shopping book about space that a child can used for a while then this is it!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2007
My 6 year old son had a class project about the night sky, I purchased this book and was blown away by the detail and artwork, the viewing wheel was a great addition to the book used to great effect by young and old. I gave the book to his Teacher and she was so impressed with it that she used it as a teaching resourse and took inspiration for some lessons out of it, if you only buy one book for your child on astronomy let it be this one
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
In the book, "A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky," it teaches about the planets, the solar system, constellations, comets, asteroids, and more. My favorite part is where you learn a sentence that helps you memorize the planets. This will help everyone who reads it to learn the order of the planets.
I think anyone, boys and girls of every age, reading it will learn something about space, and I think a lot of people should read it because it will teach you many things about space and planets that you may not have known.
I do have a few complaints about some of the pictures. First, the picture shown of Venus is blue but mostly I've seen pictures of Venus that are more of a reddish color. Also, Saturn looks a little bit different than what I've always learned, as it looks a bit too colorful. Aside from that, it is a neat book, full of great information and I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
Review by Young Mensan Mason, age 9
The book, "A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky," is all about space and astronomy with lots of brilliantly colored pictures for kids to see. It teaches about all the different planets, red dwarfs, and the universe.
All different kinds and ages of people, boys and girls, would like this "space adventure" story because it tells a lot about space and stars and the night sky. At least people who like space would like it. At least I like it. I read a book similar to this called, George's Secret Key to the Universe and George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt and they had space facts and pictures every now and then but it was a fiction story where there was a super computer named Cosmos and he could open a door that leads to different planets in the universe. So, I had lots of connections and used the information from A Night Sky to help me better understand.
The most useful part is about the planets and how they go around the Sun, what color they are, and how big they are.
Boys and girls that like space and astronomy would like this book because it has lots of space and astronomy in it. All ages would enjoy this book, even grown-ups would learn something too! I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Review by Young Mensan Sofia, age 7
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
Just received this wonderful book, mere days after ordering. Am an adult who is just beginning to get into stargazing, and ordered this and a telescope as part of my birthday celebration.
This book is just amazing, and I took the reviews to heart that said it was great for adults as well as kids. Honestly, the writer did a fabulous job and the illustrator outdid herself. It's an amazing book, and I can't rave enough about it.
The starfinder wheel will be great when my telescope gets here, and the glow in the dark stickers? I won't admit that I may use them as well! (smiling) Yes, I have never lost my childlike wonder and thrill of many things.
I've got other books arriving any day now, but this one serves as a great foundation to my learning curve before reading the others.
Get this book without delay. You will not be sorry. And you may eventually share it with your kids as well.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2009
A good book can open the mind and heart. This is a VERY good book.
I bought it as a gift for a 4th grader and neither of us could be more pleased.
The text answers many questions in a delightful and informative way. It not only gives names, locating information and descriptions of the planets and constellations, but also information about the mythological beings for which they were named and even lists the attributes of these gods and goddesses.
Artwork is a combination of stunning photographs, maps of the sky and wonderful, imaginative drawings. It truly is a feast for the senses of children ages 9-12.
I recommend this book without reservation for any child in that age group.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2013
Miichael Driscoll's _A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky_ (2004) is an up-to-date introduction to astronomy, handsomely illustrated with (I think) water colors by Meredith Hamilton. There is also a pocket in the inside cover with a Night Sky Star Finder and some Glow-in-the-Dark Astronomy stickers with constellations, galaxies, planets, stars, spacecraft, a dog (for Sirius), and a moose (for no particular reason).
Instead of discussing the main organization of the book right away, it might be more productive to start with several features that run throughout the book. Deep Space Dictionary is a glossary of astronomical terms and their definitions that appear on each pair of pages. Astronomy All-Stars are brief biographies of famous astronomers. (These are generally quite good, but I wish the publishers hadn't used the same portrait for both Copernicus and Edwin Hubble.) The Sky Gazing/ Star Finding sections are tips on how to find planets, stars, and constellations. The Sky Gazing sections are at the front of the book (on planets). The Star Finding sections are at the rear of the book (on constellations).
There are three main parts to the book's contents: "Our Universe- And Welcome to It," "What's Up There?" and "Exploring What's Up There". Part two can be subdivided into two main parts: "What We Can See" and "What We Can't See". Part three is subdivided into two sections as well: "What Astronauts and Astronomers Do" and "What You Can Do". This last section is concerned with identifying constellations, signs of the zodiac, and the ten brightest stars.
When I was a student at Birmingham-Southern College, we had lots of lab activities for an astronomy course that involved identifying stars and constellations in a planetarium. I'm not saying that this knowledge was of no use to me in later years. But I later read articles by Robert S. Richardson and Fred Hoyle that revealed that professional optical astronomers do not use the constellations much in their daily work. Many astronomers can identify only a handful of constellations in the night sky. When we seek out constellations in the field or on the rooftop, we are harking back to Ptolemy or perhaps to Tycho Brahe rather than William Herschel, Edwin Hubble, Clyde Tombaugh, or Carl Sagan.
There are excellent appendices on "A Brief History of Space" and "Night Sights". There is also an excellent bibliography of various books and internet sites related to astronomy. Recommended.