Dana Rau has written over
seventy-five children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction. These include a series of books on each planet in our solar
system. The title page of SATURN gives credit to a Content Adviser, a Science Adviser, and a Reading Adviser, all with impressive
SATURN is a bright, beautiful
book which includes a table of contents which logically divides the book into different ways to look at Saturn. For example,
“Looking at Saturn from Earth,” “Looking at the way Saturn moves,” etc. After 20 pages of text about
Saturn, there is a two-page picture of our solar system, a glossary of terms used in the book, a Saturn “Flyby”
(which is bullets of interesting facts about the planet), a “Did you know” section, a “Want to know more?”
section, and an index. This is definitely a book where the pictures take center stage. Rau includes pictures on virtually
every page, including color photographs of Saturn, old-world paintings of the early astronomers, and diagrams clarifying a
point in the text. The attractive design invites the reader to turn the page to see what is next.
The text is written clearly
and interestingly. Rau gives information in a way that children can understand it. For example, on the first page, Rau says,
“Most things that are big are heavy, too. Saturn is very big! It could hold 764 Earths. But Saturn is very light for
its size. If there were an ocean big enough to hold it, Saturn would float!”
I think after reading this
book, most students will want to find out more about this interesting planet. In her chapter on “Looking at Saturn from
Space,” Rau points out that several spacecrafts have left earth to send information back about Saturn. The most recent
one is the Cassini-Huygens, launched in 1997 scheduled to arrive at Saturn in 2004.
I did a quick Google Search on that space craft which resulted in a website with wonderful photographs that the spacecraft
has already sent back to earth.
Also, on her “Want
to Know More?” page, Rau has given titles of five books, at a similar reading level as this one and a link to websites
related to SATURN. She also gives contact information on space centers and planetariums in the United States.
SATURN is a well-planned
informational book sure to be used by students who want to study the planets. If this book is an indication of the quality
of others in this series, every elementary school library should have the entire set.
Dana Meachen. 2003. SATURN. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books. ISBN: 0756502985.