Tickets (not to mention affordable ones) may still be a few years off…but it’s never too soon to start planning.

READ REVIEW

THE SPACE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE

YOUR PASSPORT TO THE COOLEST THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THE UNIVERSE

With a new era of commercial space flight in the offing, here’s a timely guide for young prospective travelers headed to choice astro-destinations.

Whether the itinerary features a suborbital flight, extended stays aboard the International Space Station, or longer excursions to the moon, Mars, a comet, Jupiter, or Saturn, McMahon supplies not only advice about preparing for each journey and coping with issues from boredom to bone loss, but also suggestions for appropriate activities. These include swimming in a zero-gravity pool, spotting certain terrestrial landmarks from orbit, or windsurfing on Saturn’s moon Titan. The author fills in background facts about major sights on the planets and other destinations, and he describes several spacecraft currently operational or under development. Additional reflections from such experienced astronauts as Chris Hadfield and Sunita Williams, plus plenty of color photos complementing Holinaty’s illustrations, bring space tourism that much closer to seeming like a real thing. Frank cautionary references to “consciousness-losing, barf-inducing g-forces” and other hazards only serve to buff up the promise that the experience of space travel will be a vivid one. Humans in the photos are diverse, as are Holinaty’s cartoon figures of space-suited young travelers.

Tickets (not to mention affordable ones) may still be a few years off…but it’s never too soon to start planning. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-032-4

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals.

EXPLORING SPACE

FROM GALILEO TO THE MARS ROVER AND BEYOND

Finely detailed cutaway views of spacecraft and satellites launch a broad account of space exploration’s past, present, and near future.

Jenkins begins with the journey of Voyager I, currently the “most distant man-made object ever,” then goes back to recap the history of astronomy, the space race, and the space-shuttle program. He goes on to survey major interplanetary probes and the proliferating swarm of near-Earth satellites, then closes with reflections on our current revived interest in visiting Mars and a brief mention of a proposed “space elevator.” This is all familiar territory, at least to well-read young skywatchers and would-be astronauts, and despite occasional wry observations (“For longer stays [in space], things to consider include staying fit and healthy, keeping clean, and not going insane”) it reads more like a digest than a vivid, ongoing story. Biesty’s eye for exact, precise detail is well in evidence in the illustrations, though, and if one spread of generic residents of the International Space Station is the only place his human figures aren’t all white and male, at least he offers riveting depictions of space gear and craft with every last scientific instrument and structural element visible and labeled.

A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals. (index, timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8931-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark.

DARK MATTERS

NATURE'S REACTION TO LIGHT POLLUTION

Reflections on the ways that artificial light upsets patterns and behaviors in the natural world.

Galat (Stories of the Aurora,2016, etc.) spins childhood memories into semifictive reminiscences. Between recalling lying on her back in the snow at 10 to trace the Big Dipper and describing links between light pollution and several environmental issues as a grown-up naturalist, the author recalls camping trips and other excursions at various ages. These offer, at least tangentially, insights into how artificial lighting could affect nocturnal insects, sea turtle hatchlings, bats, and migratory birds, as well as the general hunting, mating, and nesting behaviors of animals. She closes, after a quick mention of scotobiology (the study of life in darkness), with a plea to turn off the lights whenever possible. Though she does not support this general appeal with specific practices or, for that matter, source notes for her information, she does offer a list of internet search terms for readers who want to explore the topic further. Despite illustrations that range from a close-up of a road-kill raccoon to pointless filler and passages that, paradoxically, are hard to read except in bright light because they’re printed over speckled fields of stars, this outing covers a topic that should be of interest to young stargazers and scotobiologists alike.

Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-88995-515-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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