Cover Image: Journey Around the Sun

Journey Around the Sun

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Member Reviews

I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. This is an informative j-non-fiction book about Halley's comet.
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There have been a plethora of space books in recent years, but this one stands out because of its unique perspective of the comet itself.
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I like this book. This book is very special. It looks at the history of mankind from the perspective of a comet. I like this story and look forward to the next comet's return. The illustrations in the book are very beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to read this book with my children.
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Journey Around the Sun is a beautiful picture book full of whimsical illustrations and interesting tidbits of information on Hailey's Comet.  Geared more toward early elementary-aged kids, my middle-grade kiddos still found it engaging and couldn't wait to dive in deeper and learn even more!
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Note: I received an ARC of this book via netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Author James Gladstone has achieved an unusual combination of history, science and inspiration in this story about Halley's comet. With the comet as narrator the book shows human history in snapshots and goes from superstitions to scientific discovery. And knowing that the comet will return allows for a look to the future of human achievement and the continuing mystery of space.

Illustrator Yaara Eshet has done a wonderful job placing historical events and scientific facts into a visual context and their paintings are simply beautiful to look at.

At the back of the book is a note from the author, information on comets and a list of sources used by the author.
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As someone who is an amateur space need, this book was an absolute delight to begin with. Reading about the history of Hallie's comet was something that was out of space. I appreciate the illustrations as well because they made the reading experience much more enjoyable as to the additional charming writing style. A must read!
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I have always really liked children's nonfiction picture books. They are such a good way to get children interested in historical events or scientific topics. When I came across Journey Around the Sun, I knew my children would be interested in it. Sure enough, my 6-year-old and 9-year-old found it very interesting, and we learned a lot about comets from it!
What has Halley's Comet seen in its many passes around the sun? This delightful picture book shows many scenes from history. Mentions are made of descriptions of comets throughout history, from Chinese and Babylonian astronomers to one that was seen a few months before the battle of Hastings, and many others. Finally, in the 1700s, an English scientist realized that there was a pattern—there was a comet seen every 75 or 76 years. He theorized that it was the same one, and predicted its return, and it showed up right on schedule! 
I was very glad to reach the end of the book and find a couple of pages of explanation about comets from a scientific perspective, to round out the historical information. My little children were asking questions about all the way through the book, and those pages answered their questions. This is a great book to have on the shelf, especially for scientifically-inclined children.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
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So happy to have this dreamy, oversized book in my arsenal. It can be hard sometimes to find the right suggestion for somewhat obscure STEM subjects, but this lovely pick spans centuries as it introduces Halley's Comet and the advancing scientific understanding of that phenomenon through the ages. A lovely addition to elementary and science classrooms and highly recommended for library collections.
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Interesting and informative, but the narrative may struggle to land with the intended audience. HOWEVER, the pictures are beautiful, and the approach of narrating from the comet's perspective is an interesting one. While I don't think this was the author's intent, I'd say to read this for the illustrations, primarily. Enjoy the tidbits of knowledge about Halley's Comet as a lovely bonus and don't get too caught up in the narrative gaps.

Thank you netGalley and owlkids books for the ARC!
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Magical and heartwarming book for all ages, but especially as a book to be shared with youngsters.  The illustrations draw you in and create a magical experience whereas you can listen to the reader and dream about the illustration at the same time.
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beautiful illustrations and some educative content! would recommend!

thank you netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Clearly the purpose of this book is to educate about Haley's Comet. But the tone is more narrative and it personifies the comet in an artsy way. The main text is fairly artsy but each page includes several scientific or historic facts.
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The illustrations in this book are phenomenal! I would recommend getting the hard copy of this book as the illustrations on the Kindle look a little choppy. I can’t wait to see what the finished product of this one looks like! A great read into the history of Haleys comet.
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Really awesome illustrations to go with a beautiful written story. I really enjoyed reading this, I will totally recommend this.
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This book is a cute and informative look at Halley's Comet. The text of the story itself is simply, with captions on various illustrations to provide more in-depth information, which I think definitely broadens the age range that will enjoy this book. I think kids who love space and kids who love history will both enjoy this title.
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This picture book talks about Halley’s Comet—a comet that can only be seen from Earth every 75-76 years, how people discovered it, and provides information about it.  This also walks us through the history in which it was involved. 

This is told in such entertaining way. The illustrations are beautiful, my favorites are those depicting how the comet was seen by people from different times and parts of the world over the time. Some were written in verse in which we see the POV of the comet itself and some were in paragraph form where more facts were given. Giving a comet a POV that it does not actually have was interesting, and I like it especially because it helps demonstrate how old it really is, how many things it has already “witnessed” here every time it comes back around our planet, and that it has been around during the rise and fall of civilizations and will continue to go back to journey close to the sun even if we who are currently reading this book and learning about it are no longer here.

I really like how specific the information this provides albeit brief. From Aristotle’s time, to how Chinese scientists recorded its every return except for one in 240 BCE, to how ancient Babylonians studied it as well with them noting the comet as far back as 164 BCE, to Edmond Halley predicting its return in 1758, and more. Closer to the end, it gives further and more technical facts about the comet but in a way that is easy to understand.

Overall, Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley’s Comet is an informative read accompanied by beautiful illustrations about Halley’s Comet and our history related to it. This is a good and fun introduction if you want to study the comet. I recommend especially for kids who are interested in STEM and specifically about things in the outer space.

Lastly, this made me ask, will I ever see this comet in my lifetime? I hope so.
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Journey Around the Sun, an illustrated book about Haley’s Comet, was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment for me, especially as I’m such a fan of children’s science books, and astronomy ones in particular. 

The text was OK.  It’s told from the perspective of the comet, with sidebars giving a more formally informational text. The dual nature means the language was awkwardly repetitive at times. For instance, the narrator says, “Some people called me a hairy star” followed immediately by “Eadwine, a monk . . . described [it] as a hairy star.”  The next page the narrator says “a bushy star” followed by “Chinese astronomers saw what they called a bushy star . . . “It just seems an odd choice to use the exact same language so close together.  Outside of this issue, the language was adequate but not particularly striking, original, or lyrical. Another strange choice I thought was that the book, when discussing how different cultures viewed the comet, didn’t go in chronological order, going for instance from Ancient Greece to 989 A.D. to 1145 then back to 374 then up to 1607, then back to ancient China and Babylon, then to the Middle Ages.  Seems more natural and easier for children especially to follow a more chronological approach (I did like the variety of cultures though)

Art is always subjective. This art was hit and miss for me. The night sky ones didn’t do much for me, but I did like the latter images more, those showing a medieval tapestry or a scientist at work. Overall, the art was a little simple for me but is consistently clear and clean and bright.

As noted, the book was somewhat disappointing, the text mostly and the artwork a little. I’d have preferred more original, poetic language and a more structured, chronological approach.  Like most such books, there’s an addendum of more straightforward facts/definitions at the end.  So while the book works on an informational basis, there are others out there that I think better convey a sense of linguistic or visual wonder.  (2.5)
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Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced e-copy of this book.

Journey Around the Sun is a simple picture about Halley's comet.  It goes through the history of each time the comet came past Earth, it outlines some of the scientific advances that changed how people viewed the comet, and many of the superstitions and fears that also arose each time it came past.  It also looks at what a comet is exactly.  Everything is told as though from the point of view of the comet itself, which is an interesting narrative device that I think many kids will enjoy. People are pretty boring after all.

The illustrations are lovely, though on the ebook version we get they are split in ways that aren't exactly helpful.  I will have to get a hard copy of this book to better appreciate the art and to read to my kids.  The information and stories that are told are told simply but engagingly, making this an approachable and accessible book that can be read by (or to) anyone.  It's not too loaded down with facts and dates, it's not too full of details that distract from the main points.  It's short, simple, and to the point.  And that works in its favour.  It's got enough information to whet the appetite of those susceptible to astronomical delights, without putting off those who aren't super interesting in that sort of thing.  So it's a perfect little balance there.

The book ends on a sweet hopeful note as it speculates about what sort of wonders Halley's comet might "see" on Earth next time it comes towards us.  Just a pity we can't get excited about that yet!   I was disappointed to be reminded that Halley's comet last appeared in the year I was born and so I won't be able to see it until I am about 75years old.  Sadness.  But it is nice to note when it will be here next.

I definitely recommend this one and I look forward to getting my hands on a physical copy of it.
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This picture book shows how we have observed Halley’s Comet and documented said observations across centuries and millennia. Going as far back as 240 BCE, when Chinese astronomers started to record its appearances.

For a long time, however, we did not know what we were looking at and the comet was often seen as a messenger of misfortune. But then in 1705 the English scientist Sir Edmond Halley predicted its return for 1758. And he was proven right. But he did not live to see it himself. 

Now Halley’s Comet is bearing his name and we know that it returns every seventy-five to seventy-six years. It has become a once-in-a-lifetime event to see it making its appearance in our sky.

This book does a good job of showing how the rise of modern science and new technologies have changed our perception of the cosmos and how this can create excitement. That’s really the best thing about it and the reason why I’m rounding up to four stars.

I’m not a huge fan of the ancient looking artwork. But it certainly matches the book’s content very well.

This digital version of the book would usually only get a three-star rating from me, because most of it consists of double-page spreads that I was simply not able to enjoy properly. I’m not sure if this will in fact be a problem with the final version. But unfortunately, the ARC was unreadable on my Fire tablet. And using Adobe Digital Editions on my notebook I could only see one page at a time. Double-page view was not available.

So, yeah, not a four-star reading experience for me. But likely a four-star book upon release.
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Well written book which piques curiosity of readers. So many civilizations and historians, observed the comet and archived it in their journals. Amazing that Edmond Halley was able to make that prediction. A book from the point of view of the comet is creative.  Good drawings. Works as an art history book too,
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