Biography, Science, Space

The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney By Alice B. McGinty

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Back of Book:
When Venetia Burney’s grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery–a “ninth major planet” that has yet to be named–her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and loves Roman mythology. “It might be called Pluto,” she says, thinking of the dark underworld. Grandfather loves the idea and contacts his friend at London’s Royal Astronomical Society, who writes to scientists at the Lowell Observatory in Massachusetts, where Pluto was discovered. After a vote, the scientists agree unanimously: Pluto is the perfect name for the dark, cold planet.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Schwartz & Wade Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I have always been intrigued by the planet, Pluto and was so excited that a book had been written about the young girl who named the far away planet. The story begins with Venetia going on a star walk with her class. Even as a young girl, Venetia was fascinated by the concepts of space and planets. When she heard from her grandfather that a newly discovered planet needed a name she looked into history for inspiration. Venetia would go on to become a math teacher and inspire young girls to dream big. Near the end of her life, Venetia would be able to view the planet through a telescope that she had named. The illustrations by Elizabeth Haidle are skillfully created. The expressions on Venetia’s face as she is waiting to hear if they like her name choice are my favorite!
The back of the book has more information about Venetia and the planet Pluto. This is a brilliant nonfiction biography that focuses on the importance of women in the world of math and science. A great book for any STEM unit.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Science, Space

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon by Joyce Lapin

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Back of Book:
Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I am so excited that the kidlit world is publishing so many well-written books about the moon. “If you Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon” is a perfect blend of nonfiction information and fun imagination.
Readers get a glimpse into what it would be like to spend time in space. Joyce Lapin weaved in all of the birthday activities that children love to do. Including bouncing, playing games, and exploring. Readers will relate to the experiences that the children in the story are having. I loved that there are text boxes scattered throughout the story that have neat scientific facts and tidbits about the moon. It gives readers a deeper understanding of the unique aspects that make the moon so fascinating.
The illustrations by Simona Ceccarelli are filled with bright images that allow readers to feel like they are in space with the children in the story. The back of the book has a terrific glossary as well as suggestions for further reading. I loved sharing this book in my classroom. It was a perfect read aloud for my science unit. I also used the topic for a writing workshop afterward. I highly recommend this story for the classroom and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Science, Space

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon By Joyce Lapin

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Back of Book:
Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I am so excited that the kidlit world is publishing so many well-written books about the moon. “If you Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon” is a perfect blend of nonfiction information and fun imagination.
Readers get a glimpse into what it would be like to spend time in space. Joyce Lapin weaved in all of the birthday activities that children love to do. Including bouncing, playing games, and exploring. Readers will relate to the experiences that the children in the story are having. I loved that there are text boxes scattered throughout the story that have neat scientific facts and tidbits about the moon. It gives readers a deeper understanding of the unique aspects that make the moon so fascinating.
The illustrations by Simona Ceccarelli are filled with bright images that allow readers to feel like they are in space with the children in the story. The back of the book has a terrific glossary as well as suggestions for further reading. I loved sharing this book in my classroom. It was a perfect read aloud for my science unit. I also used the topic for a writing workshop afterward. I highly recommend this story for the classroom and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Biography, Science, Space

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson by Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

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Young Neil deGrasse Tyson was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn’t believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real–until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil’s passion for space. His quest for knowledge took him from the roof of his apartment building to a scientific expedition in northwest Africa, to a summer astronomy camp beneath a desert sky, and finally back home to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium, where it all began. Before long, Neil became America’s favorite guide to the cosmos.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Kathleen Krull in exchange for an honest review.
Before reading this story I had never heard of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I was thrilled to read such a well-researched biography about a man who has spent his life learning about the stars and planets. The story begins with Neils childhood and continues throughout his entire career. I loved learning about his passion and excitement for all things science related! No matter what obstacles Neil encountered he met them head-on. He grew up to be a world-renowned speaker and researcher. I loved finding out that he was the scientist who realized that Pluto was not a planet. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. I enjoyed reading the authors note at the back of the book. A perfect addition to any science or space unit. Neil truly is a man who made the world think differently about stars.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

Space

Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp

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Back of Book:
People, children especially, have been baffled, bewildered, and even outraged by the fact that Pluto is no longer called a planet. Through whimsical artwork and an entertaining dialogue format, Pluto’s Secret explains the true story of this distant world. Providing a history of the small, icy world from its discovery and naming to its recent reclassification, this book presents a fascinating look at how scientists organize and classify our solar system as they gain new insights into how it works and what types of things exist within it

 

My Review:
The world of outer space continues to be a mystery in many aspects. We are still learning exciting new things about the great beyond. I loved Pluto’s Secret because it teaches children about the great mystery of Pluto. Is Pluto a planet? Or something different? I loved that this book is written by someone who works in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This is not just a story about a planet, but a history of why scientists want to study and understand Pluto in the first place. I love that this book teaches about the scientists who discovered Pluto, and believed it to be something special. As a teacher, I learned several new aspects of space that I had never learned about. I loved that the back of the book has a glossary, and a note from the museum. This book is a must for any space unit.
Ages 7 and up
38 pages

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Biography, Space, Uncategorized

Margaret and the Moon By Dean Robbins

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Back of Book: Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter.

My Review:

I am overjoyed and the about of picture books that are being published with the theme of strong women. I think it is so important to show young girls how affective they can be on the world. Margaret and the Moon is a perfect balance of fun and information. I had no idea that the person who helped Neil Armstrong land on the moon was a woman. The text focuses on how inquisitive Margret was. The story not only focuses on her great accomplishments but how she got there. The illustrations are fun and creative. The authors note in the back adds a perfect touch. As a teacher, I loved that there was an additional list of reading that children can look up. This is also a perfect beginning to any STEM Project involving the moon. I am excited to add this book to my list of must haves for my classroom.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

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