I still remember sitting in a planetarium watching a presentations on constellations. I was about 8 years old and couldn’t wait for nighttime to come so I could find Cassiopeia. The name was one I had never heard and success came soon after as I found it that evening. The 94-page CONSTELLATIONS FOR KIDS would have come in handy in my quest to find many more pictures in the sky.

The journey begins with an overview of our amazing universe. A closer look at The Big Dipper and North Star follow, giving much needed help in finding the location of many other constellations.

The table of contents arranges 23 constellations into four seasonal categories when they are best to see. Each of the constellation pages give seekers legendary background and how high to find them in the sky (using a handy trick I never knew about). Detailed star by star locations help you map out the image. There’s also a full page picture to prepare you for the search.

A glossary and sky maps wrap up this handy guide. I gave this book to a young neighbor and have spotted her and several friends outside looking up instead of down at their phones. This will only be the beginning to spark their interest in learning more.


Kelsey Johnson teaches students of all ages both inside and outside of the classroom, using astronomy as a “gateway” science to nurture curiosity and science literacy. She is a professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia and founding director of the award-winning Dark Skies Bright Kids program. She has won numerous awards for her research, teaching, and promotion of science literacy. Her TED talk on the importance of dark skies has more than 2 million views, and her writing has appeared in nationwide publications, including the New York Times, Scientific American, and Washington Post. She lives in rural Virginia with her family.


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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Kids who love astronomy will love this book. I loved to look at stars and dream about life in the universe when I was a kid. But, I had such a hard time remembering the constellations — hurt my neck looking up and didn’t own a telescope. But, space and what we know now really intrigues me! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love to look at the stars and find constellations. This sounds like a terrific book for youngsters. If it can get them to look away from their phones, that is a huge bonus. I will check this one out. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    What a fun book! I can imagine it would be so much fun to search for the constellations, especially if you have a guide like this to figure out what they look like. Where I live, it’s often difficult to see the stars, but I expect readers in other locations would really enjoy this! Thanks so much for the great review!

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