Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ultimate Space Atlas

Ultimate Space Atlas
written by Carolyn DeCristofano
2017 (National Geographic Kids)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

This book is your vessel for a visual trip through the universe.

This is a very cool book from the ground up. Literally. Starting with viewing from good ol' terra firma and our atmosphere and stretching out to far, far, galaxies, Ultimate Space Atlas is an arcade of informational text about the universe as it presents facts in a variety ways. For example, the charts and maps are terrific. A vertical infographic shows the different layers, along with size amounts, of the atmosphere with pictures in each layer highlighting what would exist there. There are plenty of star charts showing constellations you will find in the northern and southern skies during seasonal times of the year. A cutaway diagram features various sections of the sun. A map, based on scientists' observations and measurements, of the Milky Way with labels and the 5 Cool Facts to Record text boxes provides a host of information about our galaxy. The 5 Cool Facts format is in several sections, which I think is great because it takes information that can be dense and chunks it into morsels that can be easily digested. I'm just scratching the surface with the amount of facts that are presented. If you teach a unit on the planets, each one is showcased with at least one two page spread with photographs, artist's impressions, and plenty of fun facts. Just about anything an elementary or middle school student would want to know about space is available here.

Instead of purchasing a series of books about space, you could save money and get one copy of Ultimate Space Atlas. The combination of text, photos, and illustrations make for a great look on a document camera as you present a mini-lesson on text features or how to read informational text. It's also a nice model for creating a nonfiction presentation in writing. With over 150 pages of info, this atlas goes above and beyond.

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