Apollo 50th: ‘Space Record Breakers’ – Higher, Further, Faster!

Space Record Breakers, Image: Carlton Kids
Space Record Breakers, Image: Carlton Kids

Space Record Breakers is a fun new book from prolific author Anne Rooney which explore space through its ability to break records.

From the smallest planet to the largest spacecraft, the biggest galaxy to the longest stay in space, Space Record Breakers looks at over 100 record setters in detail.

Space Record Breakers unexpectedly ended up being one of my favorite books from the collection of space-related titles I’ve been reading recently for our Apollo 50th celebrations. Due to its title, I had mistakenly assumed the book would be relatively light on content, filled with Top 10s or similar.

Instead, the book is packed with detail about a huge variety of subjects. That being said, Space Record Breakers does a really good job of combining plenty of text with lots of pictures in a style that makes it feel more like a picture book than a dense, fact-filled tome. Each page is filled with images (photos, diagrams, maps and more) that break up the text into kid-friendly chunks. The little fact boxes give us the relevant details in an at-a-glance format, and the other text boxes allow us to explore in more depth, explaining how we’ve learned about distant objects or built certain machines.

Sample Page from Space Record Breakers, Image: Carlton Kids
Sample Page from Space Record Breakers, Image: Carlton Kids

One thing I didn’t enjoy was the constant use of both metric and imperial measurements. While I appreciate why both have been used, it became distracting constantly having facts repeated in a different unit – especially in paragraphs where three of four measurements were included in just a couple of sentences. I would much have preferred a single unit be used throughout the book with a note on conversions at the beginning.

I also found it odd that scientific notation was used for many measurements. While I fully agree that it is most practical to write the mass of the Sun as 1.99 x 1030 Kg, this number is effectively meaningless for kids (and a lot of adults) who have never been taught to read it.

Space Record Breakers is one of a Record Breakers series from Carlton Kids with other topics including dinosaurs, mega machines, football, cars, and gaming. Based on this book, I know I will be picking up that gaming title for my son at some point!

Space Record Breakers is an enjoyable book that packs a lot into its pages but never feels dull or overwhelming. I particularly enjoyed the pages on Halley’s Comet, IC 1101, and the search for exoplanets – subjects I haven’t seen covered as much as many others in similar books. The format will really appeal to kids – this is one of very few space books I own that my son has picked up himself without being asked – and it will almost certainly teach them something new.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.
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