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What Makes Day and Night


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Franklyn M. Branley was the originator of the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series and the author of close to 150 popular books about scientific topics for young readers of all ages. He was Astronomer Emeritus and former Chairman of the American Museum of Natural History-Hayden Planetarium. Arthur Dorros views being a writer like being a traveling detective. He finds ideas all around. He learned Spanish while living in Latin America, and many of his stories, such as Abuelo, grow from those experiences. Arthur is the author of many books for children, including Julio's Magic, a CLASP Americas Award Commended Title; Papa and Me, a Pura Belpre Honor Book; and the popular Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science book Ant Cities. He lives in Seattle, Washington.


ea. vol: rev. ed. photogs. (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Bks.). CIP. Crowell. Mar. 1986. PSm $11.25; PLB $11.89; Trophy pap. $3.70. G r 2-3What Makes Day and Night is an enormous improvement over the 1961 edition: less repetitive, much clearer in presentation and more specific about physical phenomena. However, brevity causes some of the explanations to be oversimplified, and some further explanations may be necessary. The illustrations are better, featuring clear, colorful and sometimes mildly silly scenes that add some playfulness. The simple science experiment remains from the old edition, and Branley has included a new discussion of day and night on the moon, as well as a photo of our planet taken from space. Gail Gibbons' Sun Up, Sun Down (HBJ, 1983) is a broader, shallower treatment. Use the new revision of the 1963 edition of The Moon and What It's Like to replace the old edition or to supplement more general titles. It reports on the Apollo program and its findings. Instances of stridency (``The Moon is a dead world. It has never had living things on it. It is dead, lifeless and colorless'') and oversimplification (``There is no water anywhere on the Moon''probable but not proven) aside, this is a good first introduction to the subject, neither too technical nor diluted to blandness. The illustrations combine a few unimpressive photos (they're poorly exposed, or not well reproduced, or both) with a new set of simple, clear, uncluttered drawings, including a map showing the Apollo landing sites. As with other books in the series, Branley avoids superficiality by severely limiting his topic. John Peters, New York Public Library

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