Our Place in the Universe:

Astronomy taught us that we are not the centre of the universe
as we have thought long and as someone wants us to think even today.
We're just a tiny planet around a very common star.
Ourselves, intelligent beings, we are the result of stellar evolution,
we are made of the matter of stars.

It's not God who gave us moral laws,
but this doesn't make them less important.

Margherita Hack, astrophisicist [1922-2013]

Planetarium is the latest stunning addition to the much loved series Welcome to the Museum, published by Big Pictures Press and it's our favourite already.

It is curated by Chris Wormell, English artist known for his dramatic digital engravings (he also curated Dinosarium), and by  Raman Prinja, Professor of Astrophysics at UCL.
Contents are organised in double-page spreads featuring text on the left and breathtaking full-page illustrations on the right, and grouped into 7 Galleries (we are inside a museum, remember? :

1. The Space, an introduction to the science and methodology behind astronomy
2. The Solar System, an overview of all the planets
3. The Sun
4. The Night Sky, exploring the magic of the constellations
5. The Stars, enlightening section dedicated to stellar life cycle and to black holes
6. Galaxies
7. The Universe, a thought-provoking final chapter about the birth and destiny of the Universe

Planetarium is basically a 90-page middle-grade anthology of the space, summarising the knowledge that was achieved over the past century and inviting us on the voyage of discovery lying ahead of us, challenging our imagination with some of the Universe's great unanswered questions.

"We are currently at an incredibly exciting time in our exploration of the Universe.
Over the next decade, the launch of new space probes and the construction of giant telescopes will allow us to see further from our planet than ever before".

It's difficult to define this book as 'just' a non-fiction book (one of the unmissable of this season by the way).
Astronomy has a special place in the Montessori elementary curriculum and for obvious reasons it is relevant to any teaching approach. Learning about astronomy means learning about philosophy, science and religion and about the secular nature of moral laws.
Astronomy leaves some space for dreams.

If you have children aged 6-12, you can't miss this.
Planetarium [6th September 2018 - available here ]
Written by Raman Prinja
Art by Chris Wormell
English edition published by Big Pictures Press
Reading age: 7+
Themes: Non-Fiction, Astronomy

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