Dr Maggie is a space scientist with a passion for communicating the wonders of the universe to young people and that enthusiasm really comes through in this excellent information book.
Young readers are transported on a virtual tour of our solar system, from earth, our moon and the sun to our closest planetary neighbours and then onwards to the planets of the outer solar system and beyond. Before setting off, time is spent considering our home planet Earth; appreciating its beauty from space and why it is special in supporting life. As well as heading for the planets our route takes us past the international space station, the asteroid belt and even beyond the furthest planets to the icy zone known as the Oort Cloud. As in a real tour our virtual tour includes highlights such as the red spot on Jupiter and Saturn’s amazing rings (dubbed ‘Lord of the Rings’).
We find out what the solar system is, about gravity, the difficulties of getting into orbit and the growing problem of space junk. Complex ideas, such as how our star the Sun was born, are explained simply supported with diagrams when appropriate, for example when introducing the phases of the moon.
The layout is stunning with photographic backdrops superimposed with artwork. Each double page has lots of interest, in addition to the narrative text there are extra facts and theories.
There is a data base at the back of the book which includes even more stats such as the huge distances involved in space travel. An interesting inclusion here is the double page devoted to lesser known individuals in fields of astronomy, science, mathematics and space travel who have contributed to our knowledge of space with particular reference to the role of women and including people of colour.
This is a very attractive book packed with interesting information written in an accessible and engaging and style which effectively communicates the beauty, mystery and wonder of space. A must for young space enthusiasts.