Dr. Jacqueline Mitton holds an MA in Physics from the University of Oxford and a Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge. She lives in London, England. Christina Balit studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in England. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Festival Hall. She was commended for the 1996 Kate Greenaway Medal.
PreS-Gr 3-Mitton highlights the animals represented in the zodiac by superimposing shiny metallic stars to outline the constellations on colorful and lush paintings of the creatures. The effect is visually stunning, although the shape of the constellation is not always easily discerned against the visual activity of the background. Celestial maps on the endpapers provide clarifying references, however, and with a little study, the shapes in the paintings begin to emerge. This is an attractive introduction to astronomy, and can be used as an entrée to disciplines such as mythology or folklore. In addition, the simple, poetic descriptions will capture the attention of preschoolers and early elementary-age children alike. A brief explanation of stars and constellations rounds out this lovely and unusual offering.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA