Emily Lakdawalla's Reviews > Really, Really Big Questions About Space and Time

Really, Really Big Questions About Space and Time by Mark Brake
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Dec 27, 11

bookshelves: space-for-kids

Really, Really Big Questions about Space and Time is a fantastic book. It poses the kinds of questions that budding scientists really want to know the answers to -- When did the universe start? Is what I'm seeing actually there? Is space smelly? Are there holes in space? Would aliens want to steal our stuff? -- and provides enthusiastic, conversational answers that avoid technical terms unless they are fun ("spaghettification" makes the cut). It may sound like it's patronizing to the reader, but it's really not; the answers are very clear explanations, delivered in captivating language. The book is also salted with "Brain burn" questions that invite readers to perform their own thought experiments: What if science fiction writers really had the power to "write" the future? What if aliens have already visited Earth, way back in the distant past? The illustrations are enjoyably retrofuturistic cartoons on brilliantly colored pages. My only quibble with the book is that some of these colorful pages are so dark, behind black text, that they can be difficult to read. Another book that features questions and answers is I Wonder Why Stars Twinkle: And Other Questions About Space, by Carole Stott ($6.99) ("Will the Sun ever go out? How do astronauts go to the bathroom?")
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