________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 8 . . . . December 5, 2008

cover The Earth: Our Home Planet. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3746-9 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3730-8 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Earth-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4



cover
The Moon: Earth's Neighbor. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3747-6 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3731-5 (rlb.).

Subject Headings:
Moon-Juvenile literature.

Moon-Exploration-Juvenile lit erature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4




cover The Sun: Our Local Star. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3749-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3733-9 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Sun-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4


cover Mars: Distant Red Planet. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3748-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3732-2 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Mars (Planet)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4



cover Mighty Megaplanets: Jupiter and Saturn. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3753-7 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3737-7 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Jupiter (Planet)-Juvenile literature.
Saturn (Planet)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4


cover Hot Planets: Mercury and Venus. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3751-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3735-3 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Venus (Planet)-Juvenile literature.
Mercury (Planet)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4



cover Gas Giants: Huge Far Off Worlds. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3750-6 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3734-6 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Uranus (Planet)-Juvenile literature. Neptune (Planet)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4


cover Ice Dwarfs: Pluto and Beyond. (Exploring Our Solar System).

David Jefferis.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3752-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3736-0 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Pluto (dwarf planet)-Juvenile literature. Dwarf planets-Juvenile literature.
Comets- planets-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jane Bridle.

**½ /4


excerpt:

Is the Earth a big planet? Compared with giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn, the earth is small. It is the biggest of the four planets nearest to the Sun - Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These planets all have rocky surfaces. The four outer planets may be huge, but they are simply balls of gas. (From The Earth.)

The eight books in the “Exploring our Solar System” series follow the same format as other Crabtree science titles, in that they are written for elementary grades. Each title has 12 chapters as well as a Facts and Figures section, a glossary including pertinent websites and an index. Statistics are based on Imperial units of measurements, followed by Metric in brackets. Each chapter is comprised of a double page spread. Question and answer format provides brief explanations of concepts. Accompanying colour photographs, illustrations and diagrams illuminate/explain the text. The text is in a large font with significant vocabulary in bold. Each chapter has a "Wow" spot highlighting little known facts. For example: "The earth is sometimes called a ‘Goldilocks’ planet after the fairytale. The Earth is not too hot, not too cold but ‘just right’ for living things." A section called "Young Astronomer" gives simple advice on observing the solar system with telescopes and binoculars as well as using tools such as maps, globes and cameras.

     The Earth: Our Home Planet explores basic information about the formation of the earth, its movement and seasons, plate tectonics, magnetic fields, biospheres and global warming. One oversight is that "aurora borealis" is not cross referenced to "northern lights" the term commonly used for the phenomena in Canada. Indeed, the glossary definition of "aurora" compared to the one in the text may confuse a young reader. One definition of "aurora" is it is the result of energy given off when the solar wind hits the magnetosphere. The glossary defines "aurora" as a glow in the sky caused by particles from the Sun hitting the Earth's magnetic field. A number of page references to the aurora were omitted from the index.

     The Moon: Earth's Neighbor discusses the lunar phases, the explorers and the first moon landing. It also provides tips on photographing the moon and moon gazing with a telescope or binoculars.

    The Sun: Our Local Star explores the sun and its place in the solar system, its composition, sunspots, solar cycles, winds and eclipses. A method of looking at the sun safely is demonstrated in a section called "Young Astronomer".

    Mars: Distant Red Planet answers such questions such as how big Mars is, how many moons, why Mars is red, is there life on Mars. Recent discoveries by probes are highlighted.

    The titles of the next four volumes in the series invert the title so that the names of the planets are in the subtitle, but their contents follow the same format as the previous four titles.

    In Mighty Mgaplanets: Jupiter and Saturn, answers are given to such questions as "How faint are the rings of Neptune?" and "Is Uranus a windy world?" Instructions are given for viewing the planets by using binoculars or telescope, followed by facts and figures and a glossary with links to websites

    Hot Planets: Mercury and Venus explores and compares the two planets closest to the sun. Features such as hurricanes and volcanoes on Venus are discussed briefly.

    In Gas Giants: Huge Far Off Worlds, while Jupiter and Saturn are the biggest planets, this title discusses the planets furthest from the sun, Uranus and Neptune. For some reason, this volume deviates from the pattern by omitting the planets' names in the title.

     Ice Dwarfs: Pluto and Beyond includes a discussion of the object known as Trans-Neptunian Objects or TNOs and ice dwarfs including dwarf planet, Pluto, as well as comets, asteroids and meteoroids.

    As is the case with other books in Crabtree series, the information given is a brief overview of the topic with visual appeal which may spur inquisitive readers to explore the subject further. One wishes, however, that these slim volumes comprising 32 pages each could have been compiled into one text as much information is duplicated or redundant. Libraries needing to supplement an astronomy collection with introductory level information should consider theses titles.

Recommended.

Jane Bridle is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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