By: Laura Hamilton Waxman
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2010
The Moon appears to be much larger than other objects in the sky, but in reality its appearance is deceptive because it is much smaller than many other stars or planets you can see in the sky. For example, were you to use our planet in comparison, you'd learn that "Nearly fifty Moons could fit inside Earth." You can use a telescope to look at the Moon, but you would only be seeing the near side. The the far side, which has more craters, is never seen. Our solar system contains "the Sun and eight planets." Each planet has at least one moon, including the Earth. If you were going to hop into a spacecraft to the Moon, you would have to travel approximately 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers). The sun is a whopping "four hundred times farther away."
The Moon is always in motion and when it travels around the Earth we call that an orbit, which takes "about 27 days to complete." You will also learn about how the Moon "rotates on its axis," a process that also takes 27 days. You will be able to learn many things about the Moon in this book and will be able to take a look at many photographs that illustrate various points being made. You will learn about the `sides' of the Moon, its many phases, why the Moon appears different in the sky each night, the names of the phases and how long they take. You'll also learn about the gravitational pull of the Moon and its effect on the tides, about the terrain of the Moon, its atmosphere, its temperature, man's relationship to the Moon, astronauts, potential futuristic visits and more!
This is an excellent book for the budding astronomer who wants to learn about the Moon and its relation to our solar system. This is actually one of the more thorough, captivating curriculum-based books I've seen about the Moon in some time. Naturally it doesn't go into everything about the Moon. Things such as explanations of the gibbous moon phases are not included. There is, however, a lot of very interesting material in this book such as the effect the Moon has on the ocean tides, something I haven't seen in many books for this age group. The photography selection is generous and the series of pictures showing the phases of the Moon is excellent. For the more difficult words the pronunciation can be found next to the word in parenthesis. The captions accompanying the photographs have informative vignettes that add additional relevant material to the text. In the back of the book there are presentation suggestions for the teacher, an index, a glossary and additional recommended book and website resources.
Quill says: An excellent resource for the budding astronomer.