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Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings Hardcover – April 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This large-format book looks at astronomy through the magnifying, clarifying lens of poetry. Each broad double-page spread features a short, accessible poem about a subject such as the sun, each of its planets, a comet, a constellation, or the universe, set within an impressive painting. A concrete poem entitled "a galaxy" is a curling spiral of words set against the midnight-blue sky and surrounded by other galaxies. Stamped type, cutout pages, collage elements with printed papers, and sweeping brushstrokes all figure prominently in the expressive collage artwork, which ably illustrates the verse. The last pages carry "A Galactic Glossary" with a paragraph on the topic of each poem, followed by a list of books and Web sites. Florian's ode to Pluto matter-of-factly notes its demoted status, but even better is his pithy poem on Jupiter: "Jupiter's jumbo, / Gigantic, / Immense, / So wide / Side to side, / But gaseous, not dense. / With some sixteen moons / It's plainly prolific-- / So super-dupiter / Jupiterrific!" Read this aloud. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

* “Nothing gladdens the heart of believers of good poetry for children more than a new collection by Florian. . . . This one literally sings the music of the spheres. . . . In both language and artwork, Florian strikes the perfect balance between grandeur and whimsy.” --School Library Journal 7/1/07 (starred)
(School Library Journal 2007-07-01)

“The poet-painter’s latest book brings warm wit to the outermost reaches of cold, dark space. . . . Florian’s illustrations depict the marvels of space with luminous texture and detail.”
--The New York Times Book Review
(The New York Times Book Review 2007-06-03)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; unknown edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152053727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152053727
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think Douglas Florian's new book, 'comets, stars, the moon and mars' is his most expressive yet.

Beginning with the poem "skywatch," two children look at the sky. The next poem is "the universe."

Die cut "planet" holes move the reader deeper and further through space. From "mercury" to "venus" to "the earth" to "the moon" the poems continue in order according to their distance from the Sun. Comets, black holes and the mystery of what lies beyond are also addressed. Florian's ability to weave facts and fun are on full display here.

The bright color palette echoes the amazing views from the Hubble space telescope. This generation of kids has grown up looking at Seymour Simon's books about the solar system and the Universe. They have seen the colors that are out there.

Check out the Harcourt page about the book and download Florian's Poetry Kit. The "Practical Poetry Pointers" are some of the most best tips for writing poetry with kids that I have ever seen.

You have Gotta-Have-It.
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Format: Hardcover
This collection of poetry about astronomy by Douglas Florian is beautiful and creative. The book includes poems about each planet, as well as the moon, the sun, black holes, constellations, and other space topics.

I feel that the poems are, for the most part, well-written. This book reminded me a little of Science Verse by Jon Scieszka in that it blends science with somewhat humorous poetry. At times the rhythms in this book seem a bit awkward and contrived. Some of the poems are so cute and creative, though. I especially enjoyed the one about Pluto:

"Pluto was a planet.
But now it doesn't pass.
Pluto was a planet.
They say it's lacking mass.
Pluto was a planet.
Pluto was admired.
Pluto was a planet.
Till one day it got fired."

One thing I enjoyed about this book is that as you read the poems, you are learning about the solar system. There is even a "Galactic Glossary" at the end which gives a little background about each poem topic.

The paintings are just beautiful and are so creative, and are done in an interesting collage style.

Another fun poetry collection which is similar to this is Bugs - check it out, too!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like Douglas Florian poetry, so I am somewhat biased in my view, however, this is not one of his best. I teach a solar system unit and I use these poems as a way to mix fiction with non-fiction. His poems are good to use in a classroom because they are neither too simplified or to etherial. I got a fantastic price with Amazon and an unexpected plus was to received a signed book. Great seller.
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Format: Hardcover
I love the illustrations in this book! Florian's paintings are beautiful, wacky, and full of details. The poems are awesome, as well. His poems are full of fascinating facts and they are fun to read. Love it!
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Format: Hardcover
For those who agree that our childrens exposure to science begins too late in our current educational system,for those just looking to support an interest already emerging, or for those who love the flow of poetry and recognize its ability to teach, this book is Wonderful! I found it on Oprah's recommended reading for children, and it does not dissapoint. My six year old was fascinated by the illustrations and laughed and learned through the lyrics. The literary and scientific education found on each page is presented in such a delightful way it reads like an aria enriching both parent and child alike. I love that Pluto is not forgotten. Well done Douglas Florian, you have ignited literature and expressed the melody of science. Throw in a telescope and a few episodes of Zula Patrol and your children's learning will travel to a galaxy beyond the ordinary.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars is a terrific book. I ordered for a unit on the solar system I was doing for a TESOL class. The poems are fun and the illustrations are beautiful mixed media designs. A terrific book for a lesson in science, or just to have at home for a child that may, or may not, be a science whiz.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My six-year-old daughter and I love this and all of the other Douglas Florian poetry books. The illustrations are terrific, and the poems are fun and educational at the same time.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book, VERY well written and accurate information. An excellent way to explore outer space with children of all ages. Filled with wonderful information presented in rhymes and fun!!!
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