Astronomy for curious kids by Giles Sparrow. Illus. by Nik Neves

cover image

For young readers who love all things space-related, this wonderful new release from CSIRO Publishing will certainly provide hours of engaging reading. The striking black cover complete with four glossy-coloured images plus smaller graphics will draw readers to this highly accessible and beautifully illustrated book full of diagrams, drawings, tables and snippets of information in ‘Out of Curiosity’ boxes. The contents page lists a Welcome to Astronomy plus six chapters with distinct headings and sub-headings, as well as a glossary and index.

The welcome page clearly states that some of the ‘big’ questions may be answered by this book but there is still so much that is unknown about astronomy and astronomers are forever learning and theorizing. The first chapter gives some valuable information for how to be an astronomer including three ‘Golden Rules’: wait for darkness, avoid light pollution and beware of ripples caused by weather. The second chapter gives an important insight into early stargazers with Australian First Peoples cultures recording comets and meteors as well as having theories about solar and lunar eclipses. This chapter also shares information about Copernicus and Galileo as well as other important astronomers including Henrietta Swan Leavitt who in 1908 discovered a special type of star with regular changes in brightness if the star is brighter. This meant that astronomers could better chart the distance of stars.

The vast and varied information found in this book will enthral budding astronomers. Detailed facts about planets, galaxies, dark matter, the Big Bang theory, explorers on the moon - the list is too long to mention. A fabulous resource for home, school or public library. 

Themes: Astronomy, Space, The Universe, Questions.

Kathryn Beilby