We are constantly on the look out for books that can stimulate our thinking and curiosity. We love taking a step back, while reading, to see the big picture, be it fiction or non-fiction. This book took our experience of reading together to the next level. We had to find out more about the author himself. Who is he? What makes him write incredibly engaging books on science?
Who is Seymour Simon?
Do you know? If yes, that's wonderful! But if you don't, fret not, as that's where we began too. None of us had any clue about him. We stumbled upon him by accident and we are glad that we did. He has made a name for himself in the field of science in children's literature. A teacher who turned into a writer awhile after he got an assignment to write for the Scholastic magazine in the 1960s. He wrote an article predicting what the moon is likely to look like even before man first set foot on the moon. His article got accepted and was published. Since then there has been no turning back. He kept writing more and more to make children become more curious and enjoy science. Each time there was a question in science class for which they could not find answer, he would make it his job to find answers. This habit seems to have been extremely instrumental in shaping his writing journey. "Interesting questions come up in class discussions," he asserts. "If I can’t locate a good children’s book that will help explain not just what but also the why and how of a subject, then I may sit down and try to write one myself. To me, a book about nature or science has to be more than just an answer book," Seymour Simon says.
Reading Earth: A Shipmate's Guide To The Solar System
The book's blurb reads, "Planet Earth moves through the vast reaches of the space like a ship sails through the waves at the sea." That's just a peek view into what this very beautiful book has in store.
We opened the book with much anticipation. On the first page, was a note that was hard to miss. We took a pause to stay there for a bit.
For the men and women of NASA - dedicated shipmates and courageous explorers of our solar system. - Earth: A Shipmate's Guide to Our Solar System by Seymour Simon.
What it must be like to fly into outer space, into wilderness where anything could go wrong? Perhaps that's what makes space fascinating at some degree for everyone of us. To think that there have been several brave men and women who have risked so much to be able to discover more and bring forth more knowledge about the vast expanse of space in which we live, it always gives me goosebumps.
The journey through the book
After reading the introduction to planet Earth, we turned the page to find ourselves almost on Saturn, looking at Earth that looks like a speck of dirt in a dark background. The text explains how the sun is 600 times bigger than all the planets put together. "If the sun were the size of a basketball, Earth would be the size of a grain or rice at the other end of a basketball court," read the text right about the magnificent picture. When the page turned we took several steps back to see the entire solar system before zooming into earth once again. After all that's what this book is about.
As we read along, we discovered our planet earth little by little. Interesting snippets from the vast field, picked with care and written beautifully keeping in mind a young curious mind is who is trying to make sense of a humongous complexity of the concept of earth and its facets. "What can be complex about earth?" you ask. Read this book to find out. You and your child would be hungry for more.
More about the author and his books here.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-12 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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