A boy who looks like he’s visiting from a digital cartoon film provides step-by-step instructions so his friends can build a planet just like the one we inhabit.
From a bang-up beginning to finishing touches (including human beings) and some suggestions for planet care, this lighthearted approach to the origins of the universe, the Earth and its inhabitants covers 13.7 billion years of development in 64 pages of short, snappy prose. Lively design, liberal use of comic-style illustrations, text presented in small plates (usually a single paragraph with a heading) and frequent time checks make this information easily digestible. Each step covers four to six pages. The author also introduces big numbers, small particles, and long time and distance scales. He covers star life and planet formation, even including the most common theory about the origin of our moon. Timelines at the beginning and near the end will help readers get a sense of the whole. Distilling this much science is a challenge, and space permits the exploration of only a few alternate theories. There are points on which specialists may disagree, occasional oversimplifications and omissions, and facts overtaken by new discoveries. (The book was first published in Australia in 2012.) But overall, the content is sound and likely to provide a solid structure for further learning.
A lively and original approach to a complex subject. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)