Book Review

Review: “ABCs From Space”

For me, one of the most fun aspects of studying science is seeking out examples of it in the world around us. Adam Voiland – who writes for NASA Earth Observatory, one of FYFD’s favorite sources for excellent fluids in action – takes this a step further with his children’s book “ABCs From Space: A Discovered Alphabet”. Voiland has sought out satellite imagery from around the world to illustrate all twenty-six letters, creating a lovely book for budding scientists of all sorts.

Each letter has its own full-page image with no added text, like the G and H shown above. Younger children will have fun identifying and tracing out each letter. The back of the book provides more detail for older kids and adults, including brief descriptions of where and what each image shows, a map of all image locations, and some FAQs about satellite imagery and the geology, meteorology, and earth science on display. There are enough specifics to satisfy casual interest, but I suspect that science-inclined adults will find the book a fun springboard for more in-depth discussions with curious kids.

Fluid dynamics itself makes a solid showing in the book. Several letters are formed by vortices (like G above) and various types of clouds, including the ship track clouds (like H) that form when water condenses on aerosols released by ship exhaust. There are also meandering rivers, creeping glaciers, and erosion features among the letters.

I’m often asked about resources for teaching kids about fluid dynamics, and Voiland’s book is a great option for introducing that subject, as well as many other fields of science. (Image credits: A. Voiland/Simon & Schuster)

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book but was not otherwise compensated by the author or publisher. All opinions are my own. Additionally, this post contains affiliate links. Purchases made using these links do not cost you anything extra but may provide FYFD with a commission. Thanks!

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