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Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System! Hardcover – September 18, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys: Common Core Trade Book Grade 3 Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, Kathleen V. Kudlinski
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–3—Rocco's gentle caricatures and visual gags further brighten this wry follow-up to the author's Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! (Dutton, 2005). Showing how widely held preconceptions about nature are slowly, stumblingly tested by scientific study, Kudlinski traces our view of the universe from flat earth to the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet.Effectively giving readers the big picture first, she places most of the significant specific terms and names in a time line at the end, and in the main narrative focuses on concepts: "A new idea came to an astronomer. He said that the sun was in the center of the [solar] system, not the Earth. That would mean that we were not so important. He had no proof, so most people just laughed…." Though itself a little "wrong" as Pluto and its more distant mates have very recently been RE-reclassified as "Plutoids," this breezy account will be as equally effective in demonstrating how science works as it will be in bringing young readers up to speed on the structure of this and other solar systems.—John Peters, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

The opening page to this lighthearted science picture book shows a ship sailing off the edge of the ocean; the next shows a vast spread of our galaxy, with Earth a tiny dot in the corner. The disconnect between reality and these two images is explained by the history of humankind’s often wrongheaded notions about the cosmos. Major players in this drama such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton pop up here, but only as unnamed astronomers or scientists who provided great leaps of thought contrary to the prevailing wisdom of their times. Cartoonish illustrations range from ancient Greeks studying the moon to a board of white-coated eggheads deciding no on the question of Pluto’s planetary identity (much to the dejected orb’s dismay). Young readers will come away with a rudimentary knowledge of our relationship with the universe, but, more importantly, they’ll learn that even today much of what we know about the solar system could be wrong. A brisk, cheerful introduction to the mixed-up history of cosmology. Grades 1-3. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (September 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525469796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525469797
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Camus on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a welcome follow-up to the recommended "Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs". However, there are two issues that shouldn't be ignored. First, it claims Neptune was discovered before Uranus. How can you write a book entitled "Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System" and get something so fundamentally wrong ? [Neptune was discovered from perturbations in Uranus's orbit.]

The second issue is that the scientists are not named. Why not give a 1st-grader enough credit to remember important names like Galileo Galilei or Isaac Newton ? They'll obviously come up again later in their science education. (A third nitpick is that the also-unnamed Hubble Space Telescope uses a large mirror, not a large lens. But why not just get it right ?) I do hope more in this otherwise charming series follows, but with better fact checking, and giving just a little more credit to its readers.
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Format: Hardcover
My kids (ages 2, 4, & 8) all enjoyed this book, which I attribute to the fun illustrations. Other reviewers have already addressed some of the incorrect issues (Neptune & Uranus discovery, Hubble telescope, etc.). I also didn't like that the names of the astronomers (Copernicus, Galelio, Newton) weren't mentioned by name. I used this book for a unit study on astronomy as an overview of the history of astronomy. Thankfully I already had background knowledge so I could correct and/or fill-in the gaps.
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Format: Hardcover
Kathleen V. Kudlinski's BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT THE SOLAR SYSTEM! is a light-hearted examination of the mistaken theories about the solar system - and how science has changed over time. Fun drawings by John Rocco accompany light examinations of original theories and how they came to be disproven, from new technological advancements to the evolution of better telescopes. It's a fun survey for kids in grades 2-4.
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Format: Hardcover
Just got this book from the library and read it to my young son. He enjoyed it, so we just went and picked up her dinosaur book as well. Both books have nice illustrations, engaging dialogue for youngsters, intriguing facts, and introduce the idea that science evolves. It would be nice to also introduce the concept that there were good reasons for those old, discredited ideas, but that's probably best left for another year. Right now they can just have fun with it.
One little quibble: book indicates Neptune was found due to irregularities in Saturn's orbit, and then Uranus due to perturbations in Neptune's. In fact, Uranus is closer to Saturn and was found first, and then Neptune later.
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