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THE WORLD AROUND US by Ellen Jackson


A Space Voyage

by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by Ron Miller

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7613-3405-X
Publisher: Millbrook

An imaginary space voyage is the device used to introduce seven planets and four moons of the solar system to middle-grade readers. Engaging informal diary entries are set on double-page spreads of photo-like illustrations. The spreads depict the traveler outlined as a cartoon character hitting a baseball, turning aerial somersaults, smelling an air sample, jetting among the rocks of Saturn’s rings and swooshing in his rocket ship with “space-warp drive” before returning to earth, the only place providing humans with the water, food and air necessary to live. The backmatter includes fast facts (size, gravity, day, year, atmosphere, temperature and spacecraft visitors), a glossary, web sites and books for kids, as well as the author’s bibliography and acknowledgments. While the information is up-to-date, the approach is superficial and occasionally misleading. Pair with Ken Crosswell’s Ten Worlds (May 2006) or other titles that use actual photos and present their information straight, or save your money. (Nonfiction. 8-10)