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September 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | This sumptuous book, packed with gorgeous full and double-page illustrations by Thomas Hegbrook, will appeal to a very broad audience. Its subject – of course – is the Moon, our nearest and most familiar neighbour in space, and a source of fascination to mankind for thousands of years. Chapters cover both what we know of the moon, and what we’ve imagined; there are detailed and fascinating explanations of the moon’s physical relationship to Earth, and lots too on the Apollo missions and space exploration. Also included are different cultures’ moon myths, and examples of the beautiful poetry it has inspired. And there are quirky, unexpected facts – it seems the moon really can affect our behaviour for example. A book to intrigue and inform.
This is a perfect book for anyone who likes gazing up into the skies above our head and wondering … A foldout, concertina poster format allows readers to soar billions of kilometres above earth and explore our solar system; floating 380,000 kilometres up is the moon, a bit lower are astronauts and cosmonauts working hard on the International Space Station. Beneath the Karman Line, the imaginary line that marks the start of space, the skies are just as busy with man-made machines and birds flying on their journeys. It’s endlessly fascinating, Yuval Zommer’s bold, bright illustrations are full of action, storks and spaceships, meteoroids and window cleaners equally beautifully represented while Charlotte Guillain’s enthusiasm for her subjects is infectious. Eye-opening, mind-expanding!
Poetry is possibly the best way to convey the wonder of space and our own place in it, and James Carter’s text for this picture book is both precise and inspiring: ‘A sea of stars at last were born/gradually they fired and formed/out of clouds of dust and gas/each a mighty sparky mass’. The artwork by Mar Hernandez is equally beautiful, illustrating the development of life from the big bang to the world as we know it. The last image is of a jumping child – ‘You’re a Star’ – and there’s a page of science facts to end, taking us five billion years into the future. ~ Andrea Reece
What are Stars? is an excellent book for children who love to ask questions. Over a series of six attractive and inviting double pages, featuring little children just like its readers, and with the help of numerous flaps, it explains simply but very clearly just what stars are. From basic information – that stars are bright dots in the night sky – through close ups and just the right level of detail, it teaches children a huge amount, and gives them a really good understanding of what stars are. The flaps are just the right size for small hands and good and sturdy too, and make the gathering of information even more fun. A really effective first book. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize | Motum is definitely an illustrator to watch. Though this is an information book, you feel there is a story being told, with pace and animation. His work reminded the Klaus Flugge judges of iconic Czech illustrator M Sasek.
The story of space is told with all the drama and excitement it merits but clearly and simply for the youngest readers. Over forty colourful pages readers travel through billions of years of history from moments before the Big Bang to the formation of the Sun and our planets, the development of life on Earth and to mankind’s gradual exploration of space. Painted illustrations depict space and the planets nearest Earth in bright, bold colours, and two little astronauts are on hand to add helpful comments about the scenes that surround them. This is mind-expanding stuff and this intriguing introduction to our universe should inspire a long-term fascination in young children. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2017 Beautifully produced to make the most of its clever design, this is a book whose charm lies in its visual simplicity which leaves space for readers to dream their own dreams in. The cover has a beautiful vivid yellow moon slice cut into it which tempting leads the reader into a following the moon as it waxes to a whole, shiny full moon that is so bright that no one can sleep. And then gradually wanes until it becomes just a tiny sliver before all goes black. Following the moon’s progress is satisfying and a final spread with some information in it makes the book useful too. ~ Julia Eccleshare ***There is special activity pack with ideas to celebrate Science Week to download here! British Science Week is 10–19 March - find out more at www.britishscienceweek.org ----------------------------------------------- Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2017 Jellicle Cats by T.S. Eliot and Arthur Robins William Bee's Wonderful World of Trucks by William Bee The Story of the Dancing Frog by Quentin Blake George's Marvellous Experiments inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley Many Moons by Remi Courgeon Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer by Alexanda McCall Smith Black Cats and Butlers by Janine Beacham Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
How amazing that less than 100 years after the invention of the motor car, humans have built and launched vehicles that can leave the solar system. We’ve landed space probes on two planets, and visited Earth’s own moon six times. We’re living in the space age alright and this excellent book explains the fascinating story of space exploration clearly and vividly. From chapters looking at our solar system and its place in the universe, it goes on to explain how mankind found ways to look out into space, then how we worked out how to get there, and back again. There are chapters on surviving in space, and pages contemplating the possibility of establishing a human colony on Mars. The text is full of information but conveys a real sense of the wonders of space travel. Similarly Stephen Biesty’s cross-section illustrations are detailed, beautiful to look at and absolutely inspiring. ~ Andrea Reece
Chewbacca, a notorious rebel ally, is wanted for crimes against the Empire. Not often seen without his partner-in-crime, Han Solo, this Wookiee has evaded capture on multiple occasions, due in no small part to the fastest freighter in the universe, the Millennium Falcon. Chewie, as he is more commonly known, has a sizeable bounty on his head. Can you find this furry criminal before other accomplished bounty hunters beat you to it? A uniquely illustrated search and find format, perfect for Star Wars fans young and old! Now in paperback! Look out for other Star Wars activity books: Star Wars: Art Therapy; Star Wars: Dot to Dot; Star Wars: Colouring by Numbers; Star Wars: Galaxy of Colouring; Star Wars Art of Colouring: The Force Awakens.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 - Best Books with Facts | September 2016 Fascinating Facts Book of the Month Astrophysicist and illustrator, both leaders in their field, here work together to give children a revealing and eye-opening tour of space. Beginning with the beginning of time itself, the Big Bang, and including topics such as dark energy, gravity and the life cycle of a star, there’s a huge amount of fascinating information in this book, presented clearly and succinctly. Dr Christopher Englert’s text is accessible, even when describing complex theories, and inspiring; Tom Clohosy Cole’s gleaming illustrations are beautiful to look at and support and expand the text. As an added bonus there’s a huge double sided poster too. ~ Andrea Reece
Starting here on earth with a line encouraging them to look up and into the night sky, this excellent book takes young children exploring space via a series of bright, lively, information-filled pages. They’ll find out about the Moon and what it’s like to walk on it, learn about the space station and the astronauts that live there, and about other planets in our solar system. Holes cleverly cut into the pages give it a 3d effect while flaps on each page make this a truly interactive and fun learning experience. ~ Andrea Reece
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