A collection of encyclopedias giving general information on science topics, including astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, plants, animals, and scientists
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This set was last published by World Book in 1986. It is based on a German work but has been revised for an American audience. Its intent is "to explain for adults and children alike the many aspects of science that are not only fascinating in themselves but are also vitally important to an understanding of the world today." Instead of an alphabetical approach, each of the seven volumes treats a branch of science: Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, The Planet Earth, The Planet World, The Animal World, The Human Body. The eighth volume, new to this edition, contains a biographical collection plus a new cumulative index.
Each volume except the last is copiously illustrated with color photographs, drawings, and graphs. The drawings are intended to explain topics; they succeed admirably. About a dozen photographs are new to this edition (e.g., several taken from the Hubble Space Telescope), but the great majority of the illustrations are unchanged. Using the Astronomy volume (which was titled The Heavens in the earlier edition) as an example, the book takes up the beginnings of astronomy, the telescope, the stellar universe, the solar system, and the planets. Two new special features discuss black holes and "Is there life on other planets?" The text has been slightly updated to note the Keck Observatory and the Galileo spacecraft, for example, but the section on space exploration doesn't mention the Ulysses space probe, the Challenger space shuttle, Sally Ride, or many other events of the 1980s and 1990s. At the end of this volume is astronomical data--brightest stars, solar eclipses, etc.--and a glossary. Each volume begins with a section on careers in the field, which is new to this edition. Within articles, scientific terms are explained in the text when a definition is crucial to understanding the subject. Supplementing this is a glossary and an index in each volume.
The final volume, Men and Women of Science, contains expanded biographies that appeared as fact entries at the bottoms of pages in volumes 1 to 7 of the previous edition. Ninety-eight biographies are chronologically rather than alphabetically presented, so the contents page must be used. A colored timeline across the bottom of each spread begins with Hippocrates and concludes with Mae Jemison. The writing in this volume is straightforward and accessible to middle school and up. The reading level overall is for accelerated eighth-graders and up and, in at least one volume, Physics, for high school and higher.
Although the series is enticing because of its fine illustrations, it will be hard reading for many students. It will be useful for individual enrichment projects, teachers seeking illustrations to explain difficult topics, and science buffs of any age. Libraries owning the 1987 edition, however, may find that the small amount of updating doesn't justify purchase. Because of its topical arrangement, it will not be as useful for reference as the alphabetically arranged Illustrated Science Encyclopedia (Raintree/Steck-Vaughn, 1997), which has a more accessible reading level.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-9. In level of detail, this revision of the 1989 edition ranks near the top of the heap of science encyclopedias intended for middle school use?but as a reference tool, it is buried by the competition. Each of the first six volumes takes on a single broad field, from astronomy to botany. Volume seven, The Human Body, includes psychology, medicine, and alternative medicine as well as anatomy and development, and volume eight combines about 120 capsule biographies with a set index. Each volume except the last contains some three dozen topically arranged articles, begins with a series of short career descriptions, includes two single-page special features ("The elusive objects called black holes"), and closes with a glossary and index. The dense-looking columns of text are balanced with particularly apt, well-placed color photos and commissioned art. With 11 articles on organic chemistry but no index entries for CDs, mathematics, or the Internet; no feature on endangered plants to parallel the one on endangered animals; and, aside from scattered references to specialized uses, less about computers than, for instance, refraction or insect-eating mammals, subject coverage is deep but narrowly focused and not always systematic. A lack of see references and the arbitrary arrangement of the articles not only makes this set hard to use for quick reference, but also weakens its overall utility for general research as well. The Raintree Steck-Vaughn Illustrated Science Encyclopedia (1997) remains a better choice; well-heeled collections can back that up with the fat but sparsely illustrated Gale Encyclopedia of Science (1995).?John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción World Book Inc, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0716633949