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The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space Hardcover – April, 2004
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Grade 4-6-A stimulating discussion of the uses of space photography from the authors of Voyager (Crown, 1992). Though physically smaller than some of the pictures in B.E. Hehner's Blue Planet (Gulliver, 1992), these views of Earth are no less sharply reproduced, and no less telling. In a simply phrased, systematic treatment that includes text and captions of nearly equal length, the authors demonstrate the importance of satellite photography in tracking short-and long-term changes in weather, in atmospheric studies, in measuring the movement of Earth's plates, and in determining human influence, for better or worse, on the environment. Seeing the abrupt contrast between the Guatemalan rainforest and barren-looking Mexican farmland, the pollution streaming downwind from a Russian factory, and the constellation of natural-gas fires atop Middle Eastern oil wells creates an immediate impact that the most urgent verbal warnings cannot match. Similarly, dramatic photos of swirls of glacier and sea ice and composite color images (always noted as such) showing the bloom of phytoplankton in the open sea and the worldwide distribution of life convey a sense of the larger patterns in nature. An inviting gateway to the subject; steer readers wanting more detail to Patricia Lauber's Seeing Earth from Space (Orchard, 1990).
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 4-7. This book looks at Earth from an outsider's point of view. And indeed, coauthor Sally Ride is one of the few earthlings ever to have seen the home planet from the outside. Though many books acknowledge that the view of Earth from space jump-started ecological concerns about the planet's continued ability to support life, this book demonstrates the sources and the force of those concerns. The dramatic, dynamic format features clear, full-color photographs and diagrams that seem to light up against the glossy black pages. Some of the photos may be familiar, but the approach is fresh and accuracy-driven. For instance, three photos set side-by-side allow readers to contrast the landscapes of Venus, Earth, and Mars. Below them is a picture of the solar system, one of the few in any children's book to point out that sizes and distances are not shown to scale. Using photos taken from space shuttles and satellites, the authors discuss the atmosphere, clouds, storms, the ozone layer, oceans, deserts, rain forests, volcanoes, river deltas, continental drift, glaciers, the ozone layer, the use of fossil fuels, and the health of the biosphere. An excellent introduction to the home planet. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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