Tag Archives: Innovation

#365PictureBooks Day 6 – Star stuff : Carl Sagan and the mysteries of the cosmos

For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked, “What are they?” comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: Carl Sagan.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

“When Carl Sagan was a young boy he went to the 1939 World’s Fair and his life was changed forever. From that day on he never stopped marveling at the universe and seeking to understand it better. Star Stuff follows Carl from his days star gazing from the bedroom window of his Brooklyn apartment, through his love of speculative science fiction novels, to his work as an internationally renowned scientist who worked on the Voyager missions exploring the farthest reaches of space. This book introduces the beloved man who brought the mystery of the cosmos into homes across America to a new generation of dreamers and star gazers. “[Publisher website].

 I recently borrowed this from Auckland Libraries,  but it’s firmly on my list for purchase as soon as I return to school.  I’m going to use it in any unit of inquiry where we are looking at innovation and curiosity. This will be especially valuable for our Year 3  PYP Where we are in place and time unit of inquiry, with the central idea “Exploration and discovery leads to new understandings and opportunities” where the focus of the inquiry is on space exploration.

I’m going to shelve this with the biographies related to astronomy and space at 520.92 SAG. This is the same spot where students can find books about Galileo and right with all the really popular material on space and astronomy. The 520s are an area I’m currently trying to simplify within Dewey.

When students need to look at biographies as a genre it is easy for them to find books about the person they are interested in by searching for them by name in our catalogue. All picture book biographies in our collection are tagged BIOGRAPHY and we consistently use a subject heading like Sagan, Carl – Biography. I have found that not having all the biographies at 920, but within their subject area, is far better for browsing kids and a result, the books get checked out more often (not just when students are looking at biographies – which may only be once a year).

Awards, accolades and starred reviews:

“Carl Sagan is best known for being a renowned expert on the cosmos, but he started out as just a curious kid fascinated with the night sky, and that’s where Sisson starts this picture-book biography.” – Booklist
“Sisson’s economical narrative and lighthearted illustrations convey Sagan’s regard for the power of imagination and his generous approach to knowledge. . . Both friendly and inspiring.” – KIRKUS, STARRED REVIEW
“Told in narrative format, this beautifully designed and illustrated picture book gives readers a glimpse into the childhood wonderings Sagan experienced as he looked at the night sky and imagined possibilities. . . A gorgeous, informative offering for biography and science collections.” – School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW and one of the SLJ Best Books for 2014
“A broader message about the role wonder plays in innovation resonates throughout this story.” – Publishers Weekly
Biographical details:

Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos / by Stephanie Roth Sisson

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2014

40 pages.

ISBN:9781596439603

NZ RRP: $35.50

Available for purchase from Wheelers or to borrow from Auckland Libraries.

Related posts:

On a beam of light

#365PictureBooks Day 3 – On a beam of light : a story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

This is one of my favourite picture books and one we use across a variety of units of inquiry. It is wonderful for introducing students to the ideas of imagination, thinking, curiosity, questioning, creativity and wonder as well as the notion that innovative breakthroughs in thought or action don’t happen overnight.

“A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe. Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky invite the reader to travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.” Publisher website

Look at these wonderful illustrations – just gorgeous!

 

I have one hardback copy of this title but I’m thinking of adding the ebook too as it is available in both OverDrive and MackinVIA. I prefer picture books in paper format (and this is an especially lovely one with matt ‘almost textured with the look of recycled’ paper and a size that doesn’t translate well to the iPad)… An additional ebook copy means that when checked out to a teacher they can project the PDF pages onto a whiteboard in their class from their laptop, they can then return it and another teacher in the same year level (needing the book for the same unit), can do the same.

I have classified this and other biographies of Einstein with the books on physics at 530.092 EIN. No kid ever stumbled across this at 920 in my library and I have a lot of children very interested in science. I see from the Wheeler’s website that it’s also available in Chinese so a copy could end up in our international collection.

My recommendation – this is an essential purchase for any school library!

Bibliographic details:

On a beam of light : a story of Albert Einstein  /  by Jennifer Berne ; illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.  (2013)

Published by Chronicle Books in 2013.

ISBN:9780811872355

NZ RRP $32.50

Available for purchase at the Children’s Book Shop, Wheeler’s etc and also for loan at Auckland Libraries. Auckland Libraries also have this title in OverDrive.

If you need teaching ideas and other resources to use with this book then you must look at the wonderful resources at the Classroom Bookshelf here.

Publisher website with downloadable PDF teachers guide – here.