HarperTrophy, 2004 (2000)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
hether you want to share your fascination with Mars with a child, or simply are ready to read and learn along with them, Seymour Simon's
is a good place to start. It's accompanied by glorious photographs, mostly courtesy of NASA.
imon explains why Mars is so bright in the night sky and how it came to be labelled the '
'. He tells us the length of the Martian day and year (both longer than our own), and goes into the canal theory (and the language misunderstanding that started it). He mentions H. G. Wells'
War of the Worlds
and the impact of Orson Welles' radio play that had listeners believing in bug-eyed aliens invading New Jersey. He mentions the 3000 mile long Valle Marineris, and the (15 mile high!) Olympus Mons volcano.
here are seasonal views of the Martian north pole, and a 3D photographic reconstruction of its ice cap. There's speculation on the existence and fate of Mars' ancient ocean, and photos of its two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, which look rather like lumpy potatoes. Simon mentions the 1996 launch of the Pathfinder, and discoveries made by means of information sent back to Earth by its robot rover
. The author ends on the exciting notion that a reader might some day '
set foot on the surface of Mars
he red planet has been in the news a great deal lately. While not totally up to date,
is close enough to make an intriguing introduction that's likely to stimulate further home or school investigation via the Internet and the news.
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