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Maile McKeon


  • pg 1
									Maile McKeon
Libr 261-11
Assignment 4: Collection Development
April 24, 2006

                             Juvenile Nonfiction/Information
                                      Solar System

Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System. Illustrated by Bruce
       Degan. Scholatic Inc, 1990. 40 pages. Hardcover $19.99

From the popular children’s book series The Magic School Bus, comes an exploration of
space. The students in Ms. Frizzle’s class are not able to go to the planetarium as
planned, but their school bus takes them into outer space instead. Cole and Degan have
perfected the skill of using illustrations, text, dialogue bubbles and side notes. Facts are
given in the side notes about each planet the bus lands on and the children ask questions
that children might actually say out loud. The story reads like a comic book in some
ways which may appeal to those children who are adverse to long pages of text. This is a
must read for children in grades 1-3.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About The Solar System. Illustrated by Pedro
       Martin. HarperCollins, 2001. 47 pages. Hardcover $15.99 ISBN 006028613X

“How are stars like grapes?” is just one of the many questions Davis answers in this
comprehensive question and answer book. The book is divided by subject ranging from
each planet to comets and asteroids. By breaking up each page with questions, children
can jump from one subject to the next without worrying about a long text to follow.
Martin has illustrated this book with colorful and humorous illustrations. Children in
grades 1-4 will find information that will fill their curious minds. An added bonus is a
section at the back of the book with a list of websites that children can visit for further
information about the solar system.

Driscoll, Michael. A Child’s Introduction to The Night Sky. Illustrated by Meredith
        Hamilton. Blackdog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. 93 pages. Hardcover
        $19.95 ISBN 157912366X
Who named the planets and how did they come up with each name? Driscoll introduces
children to “The Universe” and continues with a description of each planet. What makes
this book different from other solar system books is the information on the early
astronomers who questioned the vast sky. On almost each page there is a “Deep Space
Dictionary” with definitions to words that may be troublesome to children. A mixture of
photographs and illustrations show children what the solar system is made up of.
Children will enjoy the section titled “Cosmic Mysteries” where Driscoll tackles the
subject of gravity, dark matter, and black holes. An added bonus is the sections on
                                              McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 2

astronomy and astrology. This book covers all of the bases for those children who
question it all.

Gibbons, Gail. The Moon Book. Holiday House, 1997. 32 pages. Hardcover $17.95
      ISBN 0823412970

What is that bright, white, round, object sitting in the dark sky each night? This book
will answer that question along with many others regarding the moon. Gibbons has a
talent for writing simple but informative nonfiction books. Children in grades 1-4 will
enjoy this picture book; Gibbons fills ¾ of the pages with pictures so the reader will
absorb the concepts being explained. Within this book children will learn about: a lunar
eclipse, a solar eclipse, and the phases of the moon, the surface of the moon, and the
space program. At the back of the book Gibbons has included three quick reference
guides on specific moon subjects.

Jenkins, Alvin. Next Stop Neptune Experiencing the Solar System. Illustrated by
      Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. 40 pages. Hardcover $16.00
      ISBN 061841603X

The title is deceiving because the word Neptune is in it. But Jenkins begins his book in a
captivating way. It begins with a narrative of what it feels like to be standing on an
asteroid. As a child turns the pages he will encounter large colorful illustrations with
words telling the reader to “Imagine the sun shrunk to the size of a basketball”; and next
to this text is a large illustration of a basketball. Along the bottom of the page is a scale
of a town to show the distance of buildings to the basketball. Each planet is discussed
with details of each of their moons. This book is a great introduction to the solar system
for children in grades K-4.

Kidvision. The Magic School Bus Out of This World: A Crash Course in Asteroids
       And Meteors. (Scholastic and the Magic School Bus Series) 30 minutes.
       VHS $9.95 ISBN 1568327781

Welcome to the movie version of the popular Magic School Bus series. The producers of
this movie were able to transform the book into colorful and lively animation. Dorothy
Ann, one of the students in Ms. Frizzle’s class, sees an asteroid heading straight towards
the school. Along with her classmates and Ms. Frizzle the class heads into space to stop
it. While in space they encounter meteors and comets, in which Ms. Frizzle tells them
facts about each object. When the children learn that an asteroid is made up of metal they
start to brainstorm about how to stop it. Will they come up with a solution in time? After
the adventure is over the viewer gets to learn more about space and review what they
have learned in the film. This movie is recommended for grades 2-5.
                                             McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 3

Ride, Sally and O’Shaughnessy, Tam. Exploring Our Solar System. Random House,
       2003. 110 pages. Hardcover $19.95 ISBN 0375814040

What a great way for children to learn about the solar system! Former astronaut Sally
Ride along with educator Tam O’Shaughnessy teaches children about each planet
extensively. Space exploration and a quick overview of how the earth was formed are
included. The photographs from space are the jewel prize of this book. For children who
are curious about what the surface of mars looks like can stop wondering. This book is
aimed at children in grades 5 and up which is amazing because it looks like an adult
nonfiction book. At the back of the book the authors have included a two page list of
“Space Flights” that have taken place since 1959. This is an added bonus for children
interested in space travel.

Schwabacher, Martin. Jupiter. Benchmark Books, 2002. 64 pages. Hardcover $28.50
     ISBN 0761412360

Jupiter is larger than all of the other planets combined! In this informative book children
will learn about the fifth planet from the sun. The first photograph in the book was taken
from Voyager 1 spacecraft, allowing children to view the planet in its actual state.
Throughout the book Schwabacher pauses to discuss questions that may arise from
children such as; its size verses Earth, your weight on Jupiter, how to find a moon, and
rings around planets. The book is divided into five chapters, with a glossary and index at
the back. Children in grades 4-6 will find this a great resource when writing a report,
especially because of the many still photographs taken from space included with the text.

Scott, Elaine. Close Encounters: Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space
        Telescope. Hyperion Books, 1998. 64 pages. Hardcover $16.95
        ISBN 0786801476

How do scientists study the solar system and why is the Hubble Space Telescope so
important? Scientists and non scientists have asked the question, “Is there life on Mars?”
In this book, children will discover how in 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was
launched into space to observe the solar system. An introduction explains the history
behind the telescope and is then followed by seven chapters ranging from information on
telescopes from the past and now to how stars are born and how they die. Each
photograph in this book has a detailed description next to it. Children in grades 5-7 will
be awed by the photographs and information. Scott shows children how the study of the
solar system has improved over time and what scientists are focusing their research on.

Simon, Seymour. Our Solar System. HarperCollins, 1992. 64 pages. Hardcover
      $19.99 ISBN 0688099939

Simon is the author of hundreds of science books for children. This book is a companion
to the series of books he wrote on each planet. When a child opens this book he is first
shown a two page chart about each planet and its distance from the sun to what its
                                              McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 4

atmosphere is made up of. Each planet is reviewed with large colorful photographs to
show children what it looks like from space. It is refreshing to read a book that focuses
on the planet Earth as much as this one does. Simon ends his book with information on
asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. If a child has not been introduced to books by Simon,
this is a great introduction to his educational series.

                          Book Selection Process and Rationale

Rationale for Dewey Decimal Subject Area Selection

While visiting the Point Loma Public Library I began browsing the shelves for a good
topic for this paper. At first I was drawn to books about artists, but found it sparse. I had
already told myself that I was not going to choose an animal (that is all children at my
elementary school ever ask me for). I then came to the section on the solar system. The
first book I picked out was The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System. I quickly
saw a few other books solely on the subject of the solar system. But then I started to have
a problem. When I took those books home and researched their availability and reviews,
I found that a few of them were out of print. I found myself at the San Diego Central
Library. To my surprise they did not have many books on the solar system. That is when
I decided to broaden my subject area to “The Solar System and Planets”. I scanned the
shelves and found many books on each individual planet and on space travel. All
together this subject area is vast and very full of recommended books. Children are
drawn to outer space. They wonder if aliens exist, why Mars is red and how many stars
are in the sky. I felt that by focusing on this section in the Dewey Decimal system, I
would be able to find books that a large age range would be able to check out from a
school library as well as a public library.

Description of Sources

The way I went about reviewing my books was to look on Barnesandnoble.com and
Amazon.com. While at the local libraries I checked out around thirty books and then sat
down at my computer and began searching these two websites for reviews. I chose to
look at reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist because I am aware that
librarians in both public and school libraries use these as valid sources. If a book did not
have a review by either one, I put it aside to decide on at a later time. Both sites were
very useful, but it was frustrating at times because the books were reviewed by only one
source. I still took this as being valid and helpful.

After reading all of the reviews I saw that School Library Journal was much harsher a
critic than Booklist. I appreciated the honesty and took note of why they did not like a
particular book. The only item I was not able to read a review on was my video The
Magic School Bus Out of This World. So, instead I read customer reviews which gave
me a good idea of the likeability of the video as well as the educational value it held for
                                              McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 5

Individual Book/Media Selection Rationale

My thought process through all of this was to find educational, interesting and fun books
that all children from grades 3 and up would enjoy. I felt that picking the books out at the
library first was a good idea so that I had them in my hand before reading a review. This
way I was able to skim through all of them to see why it was given a great review or a
terrible review. This especially helped with the books that were given a bad review. It
was nice see in person the difference between a good book and a poorly written book.
After reading the reviews I came to the conclusion that one positive review by either
Booklist or School Library Journal would suffice to accept the book as a reliable source
for children.

I already knew that The Magic School Bus series was popular. All I needed to do was
look through the book to make sure it was aimed at the subject I was focusing on. I used
the same rationale for The Solar System by Seymour Simon and The Moon Book by Gail
Gibbons. The other six books took a little more research on my part. I am a big fan of
astronomy and astrology and found A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky both
informational and fun. I had heard about the Don’t Know Much About…series and was
pleasantly surprised to see it was filled with questions and answers. I think that children
do not always want to sit down and read pages and pages of text. Once in a while it is
nice to open up a random page and learn something new. The illustrations were also very
funny in this book. The two books that caught me off guard were Close Encounters
Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope and Exploring Our Solar
System. I have never been interested in space travel. Up until now I thought the
government had staged it all. But in each of these well written books, children are able to
see photographs taken from space. They are both filled with details and great
descriptions of the photographs. I think a lot of children dream of becoming an astronaut
someday and these two books teach them that it is not just about floating in space; but it
is about finding new information that man is just beginning to understand. It was much
more of a challenge to find a media source about the solar system. I know that I could
have found one online and read a review about it, but I am a visual person and wanted to
view it before putting in my collection. I already know the popularity and high regard by
professionals for the Magic School Bus series and felt safe in choosing this one. It was
educational but fun. Anyone who has seen Star Trek or Star Wars will enjoy the
underlying humor in it.

Next Stop Neptune Experiencing the Solar System by Alvin Jenkins was selected because
the first page grabs the reader to visualize them on an asteroid. It started out like a story
rather than nonfiction, which was a nice change. The concept of how large the sun and
planets are, is shown in a unique way with illustrations that take up almost six pages.
Compared to most of the other books written about planets and the solar system, this one
gave enough information without having to fill page after page with text.

Take-Along Guide Planets, Moons, and Stars by Laura Evert was not chosen because it
was given a very negative review on barnesandnoble.com. School Library Journal said
that illustrations were “globby” and the information was contradictory. I looked through
                                             McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 6

it and agreed. Most of the illustrations showed a horizon with a red sky and white dots in
the sky representing stars. No child would learn much from this book. Instead I chose
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons to show children how illustrations can still represent the
night sky without requiring photographs to help educate them.
                                          McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 7


Amazon.com Review of Close Encounters Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space

       Telescope. Retrieved April 24, 2006 from



Amazon.com Review of Don’t Know Much About The Solar System. Retrieved April 16,

       2006 from http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006028613X/ref=ed_oe_h/103-


Amazon.com. Review of The Moon Book. Retrieved April 16, 2006 from



Amazon.com. Review of Next Stop Neptune Experiencing the Solar System. Retrieved

       April 24, 2006 from



Barnesandnoble.com. Review of A Child’s Introduction to The Night Sky. Retrieved

       April 24, 2006 from



Barnesandnoble.com. Review of Jupiter. Retrieved April 16, 2006 from


                                           McKeon_Collection Development_261-11 8

Barnesandnoble.com. Review of The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System.

       Retrieved April 16, 2006 from



Barnesandnoble.com. Review of Take-Along Guide Planets, Moons, and Stars. Retrieved

       April 24, 2006 from



Hyperionbooksforchildren.com Price and availability of Close Encounters Exploring the

       Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope. Retrieved April 24, 2006 from


Libraryvideo.com. Price and availability of The Magic School Bus Out of This World.

       Retrieved April 16, 2006 from





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