C. E. Thompson is the author of several books for young scientists, including Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations, One Hundred One Wacky Facts About Kids, and Dinosaur Bones!
PreS-Gr 3-- A simple, straightforward introduction to ten northern hemisphere constellations: two visible all year and two for each season. Thompson starts with a few pages of background on what constellations are, who named them, and how they move in the sky. He then devotes a double-page spread to each constellation; one page gives information while the facing page shows a dark blue sky in which white dots represent background stars and glow-in-the-dark dots show the constellation itself. The end sheets show a north-facing and south-facing view of the sky for each season, with the tenlisted constellations marked. Here, both constellations and background stars glow in the dark if exposed to bright light ahead of time. Scattered throughout are suggested ways to learn the constellations, ranging from studying one until you can picture it in your mind to using the book with a flashlight in a dark room to play a shape identification game with a friend. Clint Hatchett's The Glow-in-the-Dark Night Sky Book (Random, 1988) packs three times as many constellations into fewer pages with almost no text and is confusing. Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations does not attempt as much, but thanks to a relaxed, friendly text and more thought about its use, it succeeds far better. Both are oversized books, but Constellations is smaller than Night Sky Book. Sometimes, indeed, less is more. --Margaret Chatham, formerly at Smithtown Library, NY