The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy

Did you ever wish there was a science kit that you could hand to your children and they would stay quietly engaged for hours? The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy (Klutz Guides) by Pat Murphy and The Scientists of Klutz Labs might be just what you are looking for.

If you have seen Klutz Guides before, you know that they come with consumable, hands-on activities. In this case the projects include making a sundial, and putting together a telescope (with plastic lenses)! The absolutely best part from a harried parent’s point of view is that all the parts are included. No looking for a bamboo skewer at 10:00 p.m. or hearing, “Mom, where’s the glue?” All the parts that need to stick together come with their own adhesive. Plus the instructions are clear enough, and the assembly straightforward enough, that most 9-12 year-old children can do it themselves. How awesome is that?

The Guide is also jam packed with information about our solar system, and major stars and constellations. I was a bit disappointed to see that they had renamed some of the constellations. For example, Cassiopeia’s Chair is labeled as “W or M.” The names are much easier for children to remember, however.

In fact, everything about this book is completely kid friendly, including a way to find out how old you would be if you were on another planet, assuming one year is equal to one orbit of the sun. Sheets are included in the back in the form of a “Galactic Passport” for recording information from the various projects.

If you are working with a child who likes science and loves hands-on activities, then this is a wonderful book for summer fun!

Accompanying Nonfiction: This book would be great paired with 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar

The copy I reviewed was provided by Janelle at Brimful Curiosities (for winning a contest). See her review and great photographs of the projects from the book.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Spiral-bound: 67 pages
Publisher: Klutz; Spi Pap/to edition (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781591749202
ISBN-13: 978-1591749202

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Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by the new Nonfiction Monday blog to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s post is at Wendie’s Wanderings.