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Planets, The (Starting with Space) Paperback – September 1, 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-4-Aimed at readers who know a little and want to know a little more, these above-average surveys include simple projects and briefly told myths. Using a question-and-answer format, Nicolson begins her tour of The Planets with Mercury, systematically describing local conditions ("What would it be like to visit...?"), major physical features ("Why does Venus look so bright?"), and basic facts, such as year length and size compared to Earth's. She also offers a page of folktales; anecdotal versions of the story of Galileo, a discussion of the controversial Martian meteorite recently found in Antarctica, and the like; and six low-tech projects, including an edible model solar system made from fruits and seeds. Fleshing out The Stars with more projects, plus myths from India, ancient Greece, and elsewhere, the author covers the differences between stars and other astronomical objects, constellations, black holes, galaxies, and the history of the universe. Both books are illustrated with small, clear watercolors, supplemented by occasional full-color photographs, and end with unusually detailed indexes. Nicolson's claim in Planets that scientists aren't sure whether or not extrasolar planets exist has been rendered moot by recent evidence, but otherwise her facts and speculations are well chosen and accurately expressed. Equally useful for scientific and cultural study, these titles are worthwhile additions to any collection.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Turtleback edition.

About the Author

Bill Slavin is an award-winning children's book illustrator with over 50 books to his credit. His works include Stanley?s Party and The Bear on the Bed. He lives in Millbrook, Ontario.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 11 years
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Starting with Space
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550747169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550747164
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have recently purchased "The Planets" by Cynthia Nicolson. It has been a wonderful resource for my 8 yr old son and I to share. This is especially a good resource for children who are just beginning their exploration of space, and planets. We have especially enjoyed the easy experiments that aid the child to make a "real connection" with our solar system. This is really a "must have" book for every child who desires to learn about the wonders of our solar system! Definately a five star book! We were also pleased with the affordable price!
--Gloria and Jacob Pickering Issaquah, Washington.
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Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book for my second grader. We were so impressed that we plan to buy the other books in the series.

The writing is very clear. My daughter was able to read it to me, although she needed help on words like "oxygen", "atmosphere", and "asteroid". There is an easy-to-understand glossary in the back of the book, so she was able to look these words up.

The book begins with an overview of the solar system, then each planet is profiled in its own chapter. Each chapter asks, What would it be like to visit this planet? It also gives facts about the planet such as what the planet is made of, how long it takes to go around the sun, where its name came from, as well as stories and legends about the planet. The watercolor illustrations are easy to understand, and there are also many photographs.

The experiments are very good, although not necessarily something you might do for a science fair. They are designed to quantify size and distance. For example, one experiment has a solar system built out of fruit. Jupiter is a watermelon, while Earth is a cherry and Mercury is a pea.

At the end of the book is a really fun game where kids can match "postcards" with the planets. The kids read the postcard which tells about the conditions of the planet, then try to guess where the postcard came from. My daughter doesn't usually enjoy science books, but this one she read from cover to cover.

Another thing I like about this book is that the author doesn't write in absolutes. She uses words like "scientists think" or "may", because we don't truly know what happened in space or what is in the center of the planets, we can only theorize.

And yes, Pluto is included as a planet in this book. It was written in 1998, before Pluto was plutoed.
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