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Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story : Book 1 (The Universe Series) Paperback – February 1, 2002
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I read this book with my daughters when they were in kindergarten - I helped with the big words, of course, and with some of the scientific concepts. Morgan's unusual idea of introducing cosmology to young children by treating the origin and development of the universe as an autobiographical tale, narrated in first person by the Universe herself, actually works. The brilliantly colorful illustrations are a great complement to the text, and kids (and, I suspect, most adults) can acquire some serious knowledge while enjoying themselves by going through this book.
Most importantly, the book is startlingly accurate. It is all too tempting for children's authors to cut corners and present over-simplified half-truths when trying to explain serious science to young kids. Morgan avoids that trap.
I have a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford, and I looked through the book carefully for any scientific errors.
I found none.
I do wish Morgan had discussed the "inflationary scenario," now generally favored by cosmologists, that suggests that the Big Bang was precipitated out of the frenetic expansion of a much larger super-universe. But, Morgan might reasonably object that the inflationary theory is still speculative, whereas the information she presents in this book is solidly established science.
Some parents might also object that treating the Universe as a person reeks too much of New Age nature-worship pantheism. Such a criticism would be unwarranted - Morgan, after all, knows that the Universe is not actually a human being, and even young readers should be able to see this as simply an engaging storytelling device.Read more ›
Having said this, i want to *strongly applaud* this book, and would like to point out that of the several reviews given above, most are quite positive, and the only two highly negative ones are simply *missing the point* of the book -- it is *not* supposed to give anyone a detailed explanation of cosmology as we understand it scientifically today. there are plenty of other books to do that. rather -- this book is supposed to try to make some sense of what our current picture is in a much more organic, humane, emotional, spiritual, and yea, *cosmic* sense than most of the popular or scientific literature of cosmology out there today does.
For those familiar with Carl Sagan's work, and particularly "Cosmos" from the 1980's -- this is very much done in that vein, and i am pretty sure Carl would have heartily approved.
As a reader might gather from my words, i do *not* fit into the classical stereotype of scientist with a mechanistic, rational, Universe-as-clockwork type view that has been the primary paradigm in science since Cartesian times, but then, neither did Carl, and neither do more and more modern scientists. and Carl's manner of conveying science resonated with the public and inspired them likely more than *any* other modern physical scientist.Read more ›
I was looking for an age appropriate book to explain the formation of the universe to my 5 year old - and it has captured his imagination. As an atheist trying to build a good basis of science over superstition, I felt that the narration was over the top, when the science is way cool and didn't need the whole dream/wish/creator overtones.
"But, I wondered, would I become-
worms with wings,
Foxes with fins,
tulips with toes, or
boulders with brains?"
I was puzzled. What form would I like best? I didn't know. What if I tried and ended up making a big mess? Even though I was just a tiny speck, I wanted to try.
I decided to take the chance and do it. I summoned all my courage and took my first step."
Gag. This book is confusing and extremely tedious to read. I would not recommend it to anyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully crafted story that fuels the natural interest that children have in the origins of our stars and life on our planet.Published 3 months ago by Olivia
If you are looking for a book to teach your kids about Big Bang....This isn't it. It's a fun, colorful book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MightyMommy024
Great series! Fun to read out loud to my 8 yr old. Morgan took a complex subject (the theory of evolution) and made it tangible for kids (and adults). Read morePublished 5 months ago by E. Bennett
This book is great. The pictures are beautiful and huge covering the whole page, which is pretty big. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Trina