by Andy Rash
Scholastic Press, 2023. 36 pages.
Review written January 30, 2024, from a library book
There’s still time! If you can get hold of this picture book before the April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse, do it! But be warned: Your child may want to go on a trip to see it.
If you are already planning a trip to see the total solar eclipse, or if you are lucky enough to live in the zone of totality, this book is the perfect way to introduce the ideas to your child and explain what it’s all about. Even if you’ll only see a partial eclipse, this story will help make things clear.
This picture book is a fictional story about a boy and his dad going to see the total solar eclipse of 2017, based on the author’s own trip with his son. In the book, the boy does the planning — figuring out where to go camping to see the eclipse, getting eclipse glasses, and the wonder and joy of experiencing the eclipse. It talks about the crickets chirping and the crescent-shaped shadows before and after totality. It even mentions the traffic on the way home.
There are maps on the endpapers. The one in front shows the path of totality for the 2017 eclipse, and then the back shows paths for many upcoming eclipses. But it looks like if you miss the 2024 eclipse, the next ones in the continental U.S. are in the 2040s. Still, the book talks about how they made memories with this trip, so it still works as a book about a special father-son outing.
For a child-friendly explanation of what an eclipse is all about, heavy on the experience, light on the science, this book is perfect.
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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.
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