An approachable and well-illustrated introduction to an important moment in science.

ECLIPSE

HOW THE 1919 SOLAR ECLIPSE PROVED EINSTEIN'S THEORY OF GENERAL RELATIVITY

This illustrated children’s book explains how a famous experiment used a solar eclipse to prove that light bends around the sun.

In 1919, British astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington, head of the Cambridge Observatory, joined Frank Dyson, director of the Greenwich Observatory, for an expedition to Principe Island, off the coast of Africa, to take scientific photographs of the solar eclipse on May 29. Four years previously, Albert Einstein introduced his new theory of general relativity, saying “that the sun’s huge gravity pulled and bent light.” To prove it, astronomers needed to measure the light bending. Usually the sun is too bright, but a solar eclipse would block the sphere enough for scientists to photograph stars around it, measure their positions, and compare them. Eddington and his team took 16 photographic plates, carefully timed using a metronome. A similar team went to Brazil, and although clouds obscured some photos, this body of evidence was valuable in proving Einstein’s claim that light bends with the sun’s gravity. Pattison (The Falconer, 2019, etc.) takes a complicated scientific theory and makes it not just fairly understandable, but entertaining as well. Concepts are explained in simple and, often, more detailed terms. “Eclipse,” for example, is introduced with a pared-down, one-sentence definition (“A solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the earth and the sun”) followed by a more detailed, paragraphlong explanation on the next page. Willis’ (Pollen, 2019) illustrations are a delight, using a collage technique that combines original art with scraps from newspapers and books. People (nearly all white men) are depicted with blocky, rectangular bodies that are clothed in recognizable styles of the time. These characters have doll-like, simplified expressions, but they deftly show personality, such as the surprise on scientists’ faces. Backgrounds are stylized but nicely detailed, often with animals like dogs, cats, and birds. In an appealing additional feature, the upper-right corner of the book can be quickly flipped to show the progress of an eclipse.

An approachable and well-illustrated introduction to an important moment in science.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62944-125-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Mims House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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