THE NIGHT SKY: An Everyday Guide to Every Night by Jamie Jobb

THE NIGHT SKY: An Everyday Guide to Every Night

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Informal and chatty (""a black hole is like a big vacuum cleaner. . ."") like its companion volumes in the Brown Paper School series, this is not for kids who want to get right down to the business of sky watching. Jobb throws in not only the frequently told Greek myths behind the constellations' names but also a Navaho creation myth and references to the Mayan calendar (""To the Maya, time was a relay race""), Viking solar stone, Polynesian navigation, Velikovsky's quackery, and--as he would like you to believe--whatever else might happen to come up. There are also directions for figuring latitude like the Greeks did and for making your own astrolabe, night clock, medicine wheel, and any number of devices used in the past. (Though the flag-eared pup cartooned throughout greets the ""solar system salad"" with an understandable ""What next?""--the recipe has its pedagogical purposes, and only Jobb's ""patchwork world"" seems to be more busywork than it's worth.) A lot of the activities look like fun; the text resembles a visit from an uncle who knows a lot and would rather share his understanding than display it; and--oh yes, a running ""find the constellations"" game, accompanied by four seasonal sky charts, does help readers map the skies, while a more straightforward planet-by-planet roundup covers the solar system. In all, an alternative approach that might work best as a group resource.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1977
Publisher: Little, Brown