Review Blog

Sep 17 2013

How do you burp in space? And other tips every space tourist needs to know by Susan E. Goodman

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Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2013. ISBN 9781599900681.
(Age: 8 +) The dream of space tourism may soon be realised. If those who are keen to venture into the unknown consult a travel agent before they leave, the guidance they receive may resemble the information in How do you burp in space? And other tips every space tourist needs to know.
The familiar format of a travel brochure has been maintained throughout the book, which offers useful tips about topics such as accommodation and dining as well as travel alerts and suggestions for sightseeing. The information has been selected to appeal to children, who will be intrigued to find out why fizzy drinks can have unfortunate consequences for space travellers and how fruit juice can be drunk with chopsticks. Embedded in the light-hearted advice are descriptions of the experiences of astronauts, and explanations of phenomena such as microgravity and wormholes. The text is addressed directly to the reader in an informal, conversational style. It includes a glossary, suggested reading list and index, and is generously illustrated with cartoons, diagrams and photographs. References to American culture will be familiar to most children outside the United States but those who have issues with vision, including colour discrimination, may be challenged by the consistent use of white text on blue and black backgrounds.
Susan E. Goodman's 'infotainment' is both engaging and informative. Younger readers can enjoy planning their hypothetical journeys while learning about some of the more complex aspects of space science. They may laugh when daily life beyond the Earth's atmosphere seems absurd but will also ponder the words of Alan Shepherd, who was moved to tears when he stood on the Moon and looked back at the Earth.
Elizabeth Bor

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