Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow

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Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A stunning journey of 13.7 billion light years across the cosmos which will delight any child of seven or above with an established interest in space. Recommended.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Quercus Publishing plc
ISBN: 978-1847245243

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In the course of a year I see some wonderful books but this must rank as one of the most stunning that I've seen for a long time. Billed as a journey to the edge of space and time the reader is off on a journey of a hundred and thirty billion trillion kilometres from earth. On the way you'll see some breathtaking sights and get an idea of the unbelievable scale of the cosmos.

The publishers tell me that this is the biggest children's space book ever published and I can well believe it. It's not just the size of the book (not that I had the tape measure out, but it's about 36cm by 29cm) but the scope and detail are equally impressive. Your trip will begin by taking you across the solar system, beginning with a look at earth itself and then the other planets, the moons and a brief look at comets.

From the solar system you move on to the Milky Way, with a look at the stars, extrasolar planets, nebulae, white dwarfs and black holes. Finally you'll move beyond our galaxy and look at the others which surround us. It's not short trip that you'll have taken but a journey of 13.7 billion light years.

The great strength of this book is that although this might all sound very complicated it's been written in such a way that it's accessible from the age of about seven years. The language is modern and written in a way that will appeal to children with data being supplied in a standard format, all of which is fully explained before the trip begins. For planets you get information about the surface temperature, a hazard analysis and an analysis of the atmosphere. There's separate information about any factors of interest – such as earth tectonics – with sufficient detail to whet the appetite and encourage further study.

The photography is, quite simply, stunning. There are more than three hundred and some are quite spectacular – every one is interesting and relevant. Most have been supplied courtesy of NASA. It's worth the cover price of the book for the photography alone.

This would be the perfect book for any child with an established interest in space although I would hesitate to give it to a child hoping to generate the interest as it could be overwhelming. It's not a book to be read from beginning to end but rather to refer to learn about a particular area of interest. Adult interest will help to generate discussion and you never know what you might learn along the way… I'd love to see a copy of the book in every school library.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Children who enjoy this type of book will probably also like If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today by Dougal Dixon.

Buy Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow at

Buy Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Voyage Across The Cosmos by Giles Sparrow at


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