Review by C.J. Bunce
I always figure second grade is the make or break year for kids. It’s the best opportunity to reveal all the components of the world to them before they follow along with the crowd into the next “in” thing. When I was in second grade I had chicken pox, and my teacher provided me with a stack of books to read at home for the next two weeks. One was about Easter Island, one was about King Tutankhamen, one was about Thor Heyerdahl, and the rest were about space exploration. Just in time for your kids–or you, should outer space be a recent passion for you–is an updated edition of Marcus Chown’s Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies That Orbit Our Sun, available now here at Amazon, a survey of the subject for amateur astronomers.
At a minimum, this book should be in every school and public library.
You may argue that kids can get access to all the knowledge they need these days on the Internet via Google, Wikipedia, or YouTube. But there is nothing like a book to immerse yourself into a subject you’re excited about. And it beats the online content because it’s authoritative–reliable. It’s a full-color, over-sized hardcover volume with wonderful images, including many that simply didn’t exist until this century. These are the kinds of current articles and photographs that once were contained in a Funk & Wagnall’s, World Book, or Britannica encyclopedia set.
Did you hear about Pluto? The book offers updates on the original 2011 edition, including a pull-out image of the planets.
Solar System is as much about the planets as it is about the science of astronomy, how we know what we know about our solar system, and the stages in the history of science and technology that got us to today.
Writer Marcus Chown explains dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and more, plus historical figures who first aided humanity’s pursuit of knowledge beyond our planet.
“From the explosive surface of the sun to the thrilling missions to Mars—including the journey of Mars rover Perseverance in 2020; from the gargantuan rings of Saturn to the volcanoes of Io; from the latest images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons probe, to a simulation of what the Oort Cloud might look like, Solar System offers a window seat from which to view the beauty and magnificence of space.”
Also available is a companion to Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun: a photographic card deck featuring 100 items from our solar system, from planets and moons, to asteroids, solar wind, and famous astronomers – one on each card – with a full-size image on the front and more information on the back.
The Photographic Card Deck of the Solar System is available now here at Amazon. A must for every library, Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun is available now here at Amazon, published by Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers.