Continuing with the last title, this post is also a book on astronomy for children by Yefrem Levitan, as the name of the book suggests. As again with the previous book, this book also has wonderful drawings, sometimes spanning two pages throughout. The book follows the quest of brother and sister Alex and Sveta to understand basics of astronomy.
Thoughout the book there is a character of dwarf astronomer who takes them to different places and makes them understand. Another character is Dopey who has a lot of misconceptions and cooks stories about various things.
From the preface:
This book will help you give 6- to 8-year-olds an idea of one of the most thrilling sciences, astronomy. A knowledge of astronomy is very useful for children because first, it plays an important part in forming a wide view of the world; second, the study of astronomy develops in children the power of observation and the ability to make deductions from their observations; and third: a child interested in astronomy will study nature, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry and his or her other school subjects with greater interest.
Can pre-school children understand the elementary scientific information explained in this
book? Modern educational sciences and psychology have reached the conclusion that a child’s intellectual potential is much higher than was formerly believed. Scientists believe that it is possible for pre-school children to develop not only visual image thinking but also, to some extent, abstract thinking. That is why books on mathematics, physics and biology have appeared on children’s book shelves next to the familiar fairy tales and story books. This book is about astronomy. It is not enough just to read it. The reading must be supplemented by observations, experiments and discussion of what has been observed
and read. Children will not be able to understand the material contained in this book without working on it with their parents. Before reading the book to children, please
look through it yourself, paying particular attention to the instructions at the beginning of each section.
The book has many illustrations which when being examined together with a child will enlarge and deepen the knowledge gained in reading. A child’s attention to begin with will be drawn to the large colour pictures. You can use these to discuss what has been read, or even suggest that the child make up his own stories about the pictures. The documentary photographs, engravings and drawings in the margins will help you to explain the astronomical concepts and phenomena to the child more easily and graphically.
After reading each story with the children, find out what they have understood and remembered, if the material has proved difficult for them, read it once again and look at the illustrations.
Our purpose will have been attained if our readers and listeners become interested in astronomy and will want to learn as much as possible about the stars and planets.
The book was translated from the Russian by Sergei Sosinsky and the wonderful drawing are by Sergei Alimov. It was first published by Raduga Publishers in 1986. There is a translation of this book in Marathi, I do not know if there are translations of this book in other Indian languages.
You can get the book here.
The book has following contents:
Dear Parents 7
The Appearance of a Dwarf Astronomer 11
How Alex Decided to Become an Astronomer 12
A Circle or a Ball? 17
Doc’s Unusual Friend 20
How Far Away Is the Sun? 26
Is the Sun Big or Little? 30
How the Sun Travels Through the Sky 31
How the Sun Serves People 37
Why People Once Feared the Sun 39
What Dopey Knows About the Sun 41
The Land of a Thousand Suns 47
How Many Stars Are There in the Sky? 47
The Big Dipper 48
The Great Bear 51
A Star-Compass 58
Tales About the Two Bears 60
How the Brave Perseus Rescued the Beautiful Andromeda 62
A Triangle in the Sky 65
The Hunter Fighting a Bull 68
Can People Live on the Stars? 70
In the World of the Distant Suns 71
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Another Aldebaran? 79
What Is the Moon? 82
The Earth Is Our Spacecraft 87
Why Is the Moon Always Different? 90
Day Follows Night 92
The Sun’s Family 97
Can People Live on Other Planets? 100
THE PLANETS (some details)
Destination: Mercury 105
On Mercury 107
On the Planet of Storms 110
The Red Planet 114
Jupiter and Its Satellites 118
What Does Dopey Know About the Stars and Planets? 124