A fascinating series of essays on the universe and its components stems from the author's wide interest and training in the sciences and her ability to write serious well balanced prose. Co-author of Home-Made Zoo. Mrs. Raskin's work here gives greater scope to her talents and the chapters- on time and its influence, the atom, rays, geology, air and the atmosphere, microbes, and the cosmos- are a grand literary tour of the physical universe and material enough for anyone with scientific interests to sink his teeth into. A look at the chapter on time gives an idea of the book's quality. Here there is the feeling of age and agelessness as facts are naturally pointed out to show how age is detected on Earth (by tree rings or radioactivity for example), how time is related to motion, or the need for a different outlook where light years are in question. The abstract and the particular are skillfully related as the idea of atomic structure becomes a universal thing. And so it is with the rest. There's a wealth of information here, most of it far from easy reading and with definite rewards in store for early interests in the philosophy and meaning of science.