Cover Image: Totality!


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Member Reviews

A busy book, launched (apparently as part of some greater series of science volumes) principally because North America have two eclipses in the next two years.  Once we get the primary matter out the way, the bulk of the book is principally full-image pages, with a rhyming couplet describing both the science of the event and the experience of it – the tracking app, the special glasses, etc.  But there is so much more than that, for a box-out on about a third of the page covers all the science in detail, so that by the time you have read the verse then all that, then the captions – then the beginning stuff and end-matter as well – you’ve been inundated with stuff to learn.  And it all is well-intentioned, and accurate, and peer-reviewed to the nth degree if the credits and thanks are to be believed, but in my mind too messy.  Visually it doesn’t always hang together, and the range of things here, there and summarised elsewhere did leave me with a doubt the book knew its target age range or expected science expertise.

It does have enough about it to mean it should definitely stay on school shelves after 2024’s event is over, and it could travel beyond the zones those eclipses will touch on, but I did think it needed to be more coherent and accessible.  And the poem?  While kind of swamped by the busyness, it only really felt that it was there because it could be there, and certainly didn’t justify purchase by itself.
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This book was fabulous! I learned so much while reading this, and very much look forward to seeing the finished book with all the maps and images in the correct format.  I lived in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse, and after reading this book I want to travel for the next eclipse!
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Totality! is a children's book about solar eclipses and specifically about the total solar eclipse that will happen on April 8th 2024. It is filled with fabulous images - some of which are diagrams and some are photographs to help children understand eclipses. This book is geared towards young children with a rhyme that explains the basics and more detailed information for older children who want to understand the science. The images and the scientific information are effective at explaining eclipses.  One thing I didn't love was that the book tells the reader that they have to be where they can see the totality of the eclipse because it is so much more spectacular than seeing even 99% of the eclipse.  In reality, many kids will not be able to see the totality and I wish that this had been worded differently.  Overall this is a great scientific book about a really exciting scientific event and I'm looking forward to sharing it with my students.  Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in return for my honest opinion.
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