CM . . . .
Volume V Number 12 . . . . February 12, 1999
Imagine living without TV, videos and electric lights. What would you do on dark nights? People long ago watched the stars. They noticed a few strange dots of light that moved through the stars. They called these moving lights planets, a word that means wanderers.Cynthia Pratt Nicholson has written an informative, interesting book on planets that will engage children and be useful addition to a home or school setting. The material is well organized, beginning with a general discussion that includes ancient legends and scientific theories, followed by a section on each planet, a matching game and conclusion. There are many "Try It!" pages, where kids are invited to create a science experiment or activity related to the solar system. A glossary of terms and an index are also found at the back.
The information is written clearly, and will appeal to higher level children who are younger and can read independently, as well as children aged 10 and 11. The information is presented below questions and is explained well. At the end of each question and answer sheet is a "Facts" section, with more information for kids to read. The origin of the name of each planet is included.
Colour photographs and subtle illustrations by Bill Slavin complement each other on the page. The photos are high quality, and the illustrations are correct, but also have a touch of humour and some anthropomorphizing to make the subject matter more appealing. The experiments are well illustrated and reflect the instructions.
A chart on page 34 details the statistics we always wonder about, and the answers to questions asked throughout the book are answered on the glossary page.
Harriet Zaidman is teacher-librarian at Niakwa Place School in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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