Seymour, Simon. 1986.
STARS. New York:
William Morrow &
Company, Inc. ISBN: 0-688-05855-8.
The book Stars discusses the stars, their composition, and characteristics with actual photographs. There are definitions of different kinds of stars such as the sun, Orion, the Hunter, Betelgeuse, Rigel,
Canis Major, and Alpha Centauri. The author does an excellent job of describing how the Earth is part of the sun’s family
of planets, moons, and comets – better known as the Solar System. The text
provides a clear understanding of the variety of stars and where they are located in the universe.
Seymour uses a lot of adjectives to keep the reader’s attention and offer imagination to the text. In the description of Betelgeuse, the author writes, “the bright red star…” It is imperative to continue using your imagination while reading. This is uniquely illustrated in the discussion of how long it would take you to reach the sun. If you imagine taking more than seventy thousand years to reach a destination, you can get a sense of just
how far away the stars are from where we are.
There are photographs
accompanying the text on almost every page. This categorizes Stars as a photo essay. The photos actually help to verify the information
given in the book.
The beginning of
the book starts out describing the sun as a star. This is am intelligent way
to share nonfiction with young readers. Although the information is educational,
starting with familiar things and concepts, like the sun, provide an opportunity for the young reader to see and relate to
the information about stars and the universe around them.
The incredible, vibrant
photographs of the stars in the book offer a chance for the reader to engage in and enjoy reading the book aloud. The pictures cold be a way to start discussing stars – getting the reader fascinated with what is
being featured to make them want to read about what is being seen.
Stars helps readers to understand and appreciate the universe. It would serve as a good book to use in a large-group reading activity.
The book provides detail about specific stars and their origins.
Seymour’s book is very easy to read, which makes it less intimidating to young readers. It is an informational book that is successful in teaching factual information and offers a sense of comfort
to the reader. While reading the book and exploring the awesome photographs of
constellations, the reader will not be too overwhelmed with information.
There is personality
in the book, to suggest that the tone of the book is very relaxed, yet still informative.
For example, the author uses phrases like, “our sun,” “we see,” and “you may be surprised.” This different approach gives the reader a sense that he or she is on journey, learning
with the author- rather than it being a teacher-student experience.
photos steal the show, highlighting these planets’ exotic beauty….Simon writes with clarity and grace communicating
drama and wonder as well as an extraordinary amount of technical information.”
- From School Library Journal