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The Stars Paperback – October 27, 2008


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The Stars + Find the Constellations + A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 0002- edition (October 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547132808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547132808
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Written by the author of Curious George, this hefty guide to stars, constellations, and planets in the night sky was first published in 1952 and revised several times, though the current book is evidently the first to be called the second edition. A star on the jacket proclaims “updated star and solar system information.” Inside, additions include an introductory note on Pluto, which explains the difference between a planet and a dwarf planet, as well as a paragraph on the Kuiper Belt. Information on the solar system and the asteroid belt has been revised in the light of Pluto’s reclassification. In addition, the planetary tables have been updated through 2016. The bibliography was not updated, however, and it includes no books from the last 10 years. Still, the new edition is recommended to replace old ones in astronomy collections. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Hans Augusto Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1898. As a child, he spent much of his free time in that city's famous Hagenbeck Zoo drawing animals. After serving in the army during World War I, he studied philology and natural science at the University of Hamburg. He then married Margret Rey and they moved to Montmartre for four years. The manuscript for the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and Curious George was published in 1941. Curious George has been published in many languages, including French, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, and Norwegian. Additional Curious George books followed, as well as such other favorites as CECILY G. AND THE NINE MONKEYS and FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS.

More About the Author

Hans Augusto Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1898. As a child, he spent much of his free time in that city's famous Hagenbeck Zoo drawing animals. After serving in the army during World War I, he studied philology and natural science at the University of Hamburg. He then married Margret Rey and they moved to Montmartre for four years. The manuscript for the first Curious George books was one of the few items the Reys carried with them on their bicycles when they escaped from Paris in 1940. Eventually, they made their way to the United States, and Curious George was published in 1941. Curious George has been published in many languages, including French, German, Japanese, Afrikaans, and Norwegian. Additional Curious George books followed, as well as such other favorites as CECILY G. AND THE NINE MONKEYS and FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#72 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#71 in Books
#71 in Books

Customer Reviews

My 10 year old loves star gazing and this book gives her the basic information she wants.
strawberry
If you've ever wanted to REALLY learn the constellations, this is the best book ever written to do just that.
Donald M. Saito
Rey turns the sky into a set of line drawings that make it easy to identify the constellations.
Karen Vedder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

147 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Ben on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
One winter night during junior high, I glanced up at the night sky and out of the corner of my eye I saw a small silverly cloud. A closer look revealed a small cluster of six tiny stars. "Hmmm," I said to myself,"I wonder what that is?" I remembered an old book I had on my shelf called "The Stars." So went and after a quick search, realized that the cluster was called the Pleiades and they are part of Taurus. "Cool," I thought, and I sat down to read the whole book through.

This is my all-time favorite book from my youth. I have many, many memeories of me and my dad spending hours up on the roof at night, looking at this book through our red-painted flashlight, naming the stars and tracing the constellations. We did this at least once a week for several years, during all seasons. Even to this day, almost 40 years later, I look up in the sky and immediately see old and comforting friends that haven't changed since then. And I feel like I know where I am.

Then during college, I took a photocopy of the book to Kenya, where I lived for a semester in the bush. This time, Kenya being on the equator, I had the pleasure of meeting new friends; the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. Way cool.

I have given this book as a gift to friends, children of friends, just about anyone who I have seen glancing into the nightime sky.

So now I just bought myself a brand new copy; I'm going to Sri Lanka to help with disaster relief and, alas, my original cloth-bound hardcover 1962 edition is just to old to make the journey with me. However, I am very eager to re-aquaint myself with those friends I first made back in the African sky.
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102 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Moses on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
H. A. Rey is best known for his "Curious George" stories, but he was a scientist by profession and he also wrote two books on stargazing for children. If you have a child who is interested in the stars, this book is delightful and highly readable. And if YOU are interested in the stars, dont hesitate to get it for yourself! Rey has a unique way of showing the constellations: he actually went through the trouble of drawing lines between the stars of a constellation to form a meaningful picture - so Gemini (the twins) actually looks like a pair of twins, Cetus (the whale) looks like a whale, and so forth. A word of warning: to form these pictures, Rey often had to rely on dim stars. Don't expect to see them from the city! Access to a dark country sky is essential to get the most out of this book. That said, "The Stars" makes the mastery of stargazing accessible and fun for children and adults alike.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bill Oterson VINE VOICE on January 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great, allow me to say again it is great. I noticed it used as a reference book at M.I.T. and I was intrigued. I had thought it was a book for children, and it is. But, it is also a book for anyone with a desire to learn to identify heavenly objects. If you've a beginning interest in astronomy buy this book, it's reader friendly.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. Demattei on May 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book in a library as a young child in 1978. After renewing it as many times as I could, my mother bought me a copy. This book started a lifetime love of observational Astronomy that continues to this day. I still have that very book now--it is worn, marked, ripped, and the cover has fallen off--but it is still a book that I pull out from time to time.
Rey's method of teaching Astronomy is to keep things as simple and basic as possible. If all you want to do is recognize the constellations in the sky and know when to see them, then you read the first three chapters. If you want to learn a bit more about celestial mechanics, then you read further. You learn as much as you want to. Rey's outlines of the constellations are innovative in that that really LOOK like what the constellations are supposed to represent. The first time I used this book to find constellations (at age eight) I was able to pick out a few even in the light polluted skies of the SF Bay Area.
The only criticism that I have for this book (which only popped up when I reached adulthood) is that in order to draw some of his realistic outlines of the constellations, Rey needed to incorporate a number of faint stars that can only be seen in areas that have very dark skies at night. Under such conditions there are so many stars peppering the heavens (that are not on Rey's charts) that an amateur could be overwhelmed and get lost. Despite this quibbling, I still consider this book to be the best introductory work on Astronomy around, no matter what age the reader. I've seen lots of other "Astronomy 101" books--some are good, some are great, but after 50 years of being in print, "The Stars" has yet to be beat.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dave Holland on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
The reviews on this book are remarkably accurate. This is not a childrens' book. Even though decades have passed since it was first published, no other text has been able to bump it off a 'best in class' position. If you want to look to the sky for familiar shapes, this is the book for you.

There are a couple of fundamental ways to study the heavens. A 'modern' approach might be to put your head down, click in a few celestial coordiantes, and wait for the telescope to find a target for you. However a more interesing approach would be to find shape in the sky and locate targets manually. To do that you need to recognize those old landmarks in the sky, the constellations.

The big problem in identifying constellations is to find shape from seemingly random dots. Ray creatively used the same stars, but made 'new' stick diagrams that actually look like what they are supposed to represent. This makes a constellation much easier to visualize, remember, and recognize later. Other texts that attempt this effort fall short because they don't emphasize visual recognition clues.

A major fault of modern texts is the inclusion of unnecessary detail. Ray puts in a few choice details that help the memory and add interesting character to the figures in the sky. But by excluding minutia he draws the reader back to the goal at hand. Ultimately you need to memorize a blueprint of the sky, and this workbook will be your best friend to help reach that goal. Bravo.
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