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Books bring space down to earth


Web posted on: Monday, May 24, 1999 11:28:58 AM EDT

(CNN) -- Two new books from Candlewick Press bring the study of space and astronomy down to earth for children.

"The History News in Space" and "Journey Into Space" approach the story from different directions, but both provide entertaining and educational information about outer space.

"The History News in Space" tells the stories of space exploration as if they were reported in a modern-day newspaper. The stories range from "Ancient Astronomers" to "Mission to Mars."

"As well as telling the enthralling story of the Russian and American space race this century, we go right back in time to look at the colorful characters through history who risked ridicule and sometimes their lives when they put forward the ideas that started our journey into space," writes editor Michael Johnstone in a note to readers.

The book also uses other elements of newspapers -- advertising, graphics and photographs -- to explain advances in science. Says one ad, dated 1543:

"The Publishing Sun-sation of the Century -- De Revolutionibus -- read Copernicus's revolutionary new study of the universe. At last here is a book that explains the complex relationship between heavenly bodies. Read it. It will change your view of the world forever."

"Journey Into Space" bills itself as "a giant pop-up, fold-out book to read and display," and it lives up to the claim.

Open it up, and a giant pop-up poster (48 inches by 14 inches) appears, featuring a floating astronaut, the Voyager 1 spacecraft, and a space shuttle in mid-launch.

Even the non-pop-up portions are eye-catching, with photos from the moon, astronauts at work, and a large image of a space shuttle with flaps that fold back as if you were peeling the skin of the shuttle to see what's inside.

Text accompanying the images offers details of space travel:

"The space shuttle is a versatile spacecraft, as it can conduct many different types of missions. On one flight it can carry a spacelab in its huge payload bay and on another, launch a satellite. Still other flights have retrieved broken down satellites using a grab arm, mended them, and sent them back into orbit.

CNN Special: John Glenn returns to space
Space shuttle launch set
May 20, 1999
Shuttle astronauts set for very busy mission
May 13, 1999
Discovery launch postponed to repair hail damage
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