Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System

Written by: Dr. Dominic Walliman

Illustrated by: Ben Newman

For ages: 5 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Space, Solar System.

Summary: This is a great book that introduces STEM topics in an age-appropriate way for young children!  Broken down by planets, the sun, and asteroids/comets it doesn’t overwhelm readers.  Simple information that reads more like an oversized comic book, the pages practically turn themselves.  Coupled with the unique illustration style of Newman, this is great for any classroom from Junior Kindergarten and above!

Reflection Questions:

  • What is your favorite planet?
  • What did you learn about space that surprised you?
  • What do you think is the most fun part of being an astronaut it?
  • How do you think people who work with astronauts but do not go into space spend their time?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • There are lots of jobs in the STEM fields that do not involve going into space.  Learn about what some of them are, and how they help astronauts despite being on the ground!
  • Design your own planet.  What would it look like?  What kind of atmosphere would it have, and what (if any) life would thrive there? After drawing your own planet and giving it a “Planet Profile” for the other scientists n your class, take a solar system tour and view everyone else’s designs!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

DominicWallimanDominic Walliman is a physicist, and award-winning science writer. He is co-creator of the Professor Astro Cat science books with illustrator Ben Newman.

Dominic received his PhD in quantum device physics from the University of Birmingham, and currently works at the quantum computing company D-Wave Systems Inc. As well as writing, he enjoys making films and animations to explain science and has produced a series of online videos communicating D-Wave’s groundbreaking quantum technology and his own videos about general science.

He has been writing science books since 2011, and he aims to give children super fun and clear explanations of science through the adventures of Professor Astro Cat. He grew up reading science books and remembers vividly the excitement of discovering the mind boggling explanations that science gives us about the Universe. If he can pass on this wonder and enjoyment to the next generation, he will consider it a job well done.

 

Desk-shotBen Newman has developed a distinct aesthetic over the years; a contemporary fusion of bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters which has been described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, including the Tate Modern, New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Google and The New Yorker. His practice extends outside of commercial work into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three dimensional collaborations. Nowadays, he spends the majority of his time collaborating on the Professor Astro Cat children’s books with his longtime friend and scientist, Dr Dominic Walliman, which are published by Flying Eye Books and have been translated into 18 other languages.

Concurrent to working as a freelance illustrator, Newman lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.

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