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Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations Paperback – October 24, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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National Geographic Kids Chapters: Rascally Rabbits!: And More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly (NGK Chapters) by Aline Alexander Newman
National Geographic Kids Chapters: Rascally Rabbits!
Ideal for young animal lovers who are ready for short chapters, lively, exciting, full-color true stories just right to carry in your backpack, share with your friends, and read under the covers at night. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

People have always looked up at the stars in wonder, seeking patterns in the sky. This gorgeous picture book, published by the National Geographic Society, introduces children to the constellations that are named for animals--Leo the Lion, the Great Bear and Little Bear, and many more. Christina Balit's striking paintings showcase each constellation against a deep blue background--animals or fantastical beasts positioned in the dark night sky, with the individual stars, metallic and iridescent, superimposed upon them. Each image is accompanied by a short, engaging, often dramatized description of the group of stars and the legends surrounding it, written by distinguished astronomer and writer Dr. Jacqueline Mitton: "Charging through the zodiac, here comes the Bull. Head down, horns thrust forward, Taurus is ready to toss the twins. But they are safe, always on the other side of the Milky Way." The front and endpapers are star maps that show the actual constellations of both the southern and northern skies. Mitton also offers a brief introduction to the constellations and two pages of related discussion on astronomy at the book's end. A lovely choice for anyone interested in the mysteries of the night sky. (Click to see a sample spread. Text © 1998 Jacqueline Mitton. Illustrations © 1998 Christina Balit.) (Ages 6 to 10) --Marcie Bovetz --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-Mitton highlights the animals represented in the zodiac by superimposing shiny metallic stars to outline the constellations on colorful and lush paintings of the creatures. The effect is visually stunning, although the shape of the constellation is not always easily discerned against the visual activity of the background. Celestial maps on the endpapers provide clarifying references, however, and with a little study, the shapes in the paintings begin to emerge. This is an attractive introduction to astronomy, and can be used as an entree to disciplines such as mythology or folklore. In addition, the simple, poetic descriptions will capture the attention of preschoolers and early elementary-age children alike. A brief explanation of stars and constellations rounds out this lovely and unusual offering.
Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 750 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books; Reprint edition (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792259351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792259350
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We check out many library books each week and I try to get onto Amazon and review them so that I have a record of my impressions of each. I want to make note of those I didn't like; and then there are some, like this stunning volume, I want to make sure I don't forget exist! I can see us checking this book out over and over as my child (now almost 4) gets older and continues with homeschooling. This is a wonderful book and if you are shopping for something that will encourage your child to enjoy the wonders of nature, a book to take along on family camping trips and nature walks; if you want to teach your child ancient stories of the skies, expose them to different cultures; or you are looking for literature which will inspire your storytelling and help you raise a creative imaginative child -- this is the book for you!! Buy it (and I will, too).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I give this book 5 stars based on my son's enjoyment of it. I first saw this book at our Nature Center, and he so enjoyed it that I bought him a copy. I truly believed it would be too old for him (he's 3 1/2) but he adores it. I think because we go to the planetarium often he is able to really make the connections between what we see at the planetarium and in the book. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the information is very well presented. We also have 2 other of Ms. Mitton's books. While at first glance they may seem too advanced for the preschool crowd, I can testify that the preschoolers I know (my son and his classmates) really love these books and go back to them over and over. I highly recommend Ms. Mitton's books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book and a Night Sky Star Wheel as a gift for my young grand children. I have been active with astronomy for well over 20 years. The book is terrible if in any way trying to relate an animal constellation to any actual constellation in the sky. That is by itself or even trying to use it with a star wheel. For example, the book has a creative drawing of The Great Bear and in part reads "Two bright stars across her back point straight across to Polaris, the North Star." Neither the 'two bright' stars nor Polaris are identifiable. There is no way to see or even imagine "the Big Dipper" within the pictured Great Bear or get any other celestial reference. To me, the whole purpose of the book. Zoo in the Sky, while relatively inexpensive, is of high quality materials printed in China. It is not even entertaining for under 12 and not nearly informative enough for over 13.
2 Comments 18 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
My son really enjoyed this book because he loves animals. It explains, in simple terms, the various constellations. The illustrations are beautifully done and very engaging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I looked over the book after I received it and was so satisfied that children of any age could learn so much about the star constellations. I gave the book as a gift to my five year old granddaughter who loves to look up into a dark night with me to view the stars and Jupiter too. It is complex enough for older children and as an adult, I learn from it too.
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Format: Paperback
Review by Sherry North, Author, Because You Are My Baby

With captivating artwork and just the right amount of information, this book is a wonderful introduction to the constellations. I took my 3-year-old son to the science section of our local bookstore and let him pick out one book, and this is what he chose. He made a great choice, because he asks to see it again and again, and we both enjoy reading it. The star maps at the front and back are very helpful for finding the actual constellations in the night sky - transforming a reading activity into a real-world activity that captures the imagination of preschoolers.
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By Cathy on December 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has nice pictures. Just minimal information though. I was hoping for more historical information on the story of the stars.
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By Lani Spice on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We borrowed thhis from the library and my daughter liked it so much, I later purchased it on Amazon.
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Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations
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