There's No Place Like Space
|Author: Tish Rabe
Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz
Summary: There's No Place Like Space takes us on a whirlwind tour of our solar system, with a few constellations thrown in for good measure. Cat in the Hat (along with beloved Thing One and Thing Two) straps on his space suit and rhymes his way among the nine planets, presenting important facts along the way.
Unit Written by Rachel Harris
Occupations (Meteorologist) - On Venus, The Cat in the Hat gave the weather forecast of “Really, Really Hot, Nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and Windy and Dry.” What is a Meteorologist? A Meteorologist is a person who studies the atmosphere and forecasts the weather. Have your child look out the window and give a weather report. If they are interested, either watch the news and point out the weather segment, or get online and look up the weather forecast. Have fun with this, maybe get out the video camera and record their role-playing!
Astronomer – This is defined, in the book, as being someone who studies what’s up in the sky. If your child is interested, name some astronomers from the past and briefly discuss what they discovered:
Thing Two and the Cat in the Hat decide they want to become Astronomers when they grow up. Ask your child what they would like to be when they grow up!! Why?
Choices writer can make – Rhyme. A Rhyme is a literary device used where there is a close similarity in the final sounds of two or more words or lines of verse. Dr. Seuss books are famous for their rhyme schemes, and this book continues that tradition.
Have fun with your child creating your own rhymes! You can write about the solar system or another favorite topic! There are many different ways to create a rhyming composition. In this book, the general pattern followed is 4 lines to a stanza with the second and fourth lines ending in similar sounds.
Mnemonic Device- The example in this story is “Mallory Valerie Emily Meetzahs Just Served Us Nine hundred ninety-nine Pizzas!” There are many variations of this popular acronym…. When I was in school, I learned “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” Have fun with your children creating your own mnemonic device for the planets! Of course, recently they have downgraded Pluto from a planet, so you may want to leave this out or you can leave it in, since most children’s books still classify it as a planet. You can always explain this later.
Vocabulary (these are defined in the back of the book) –
Astronomer: A person who studies the planets, stars, sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies
Constellation: A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky that looks like a picture.
Satellite: A natural or man-made object that moves around a planet
Solar System: The sun and all the planets that move around it.
Telescope: An instrument that uses lenses to make faraway objects appear closer
Universe: Everything that exists, including the earth, the planets, the stars, and all of space.
Personification in Art – Personification is defined as the representation of a thing or idea as a person or by the human form. This device can be used as a literary device or in illustrations. In this book, the illustrator uses personification with the Cat in the Hat and with the Sun.
Throughout the story, The Cat in the Hat is seen walking and talking. Ask your child if they have ever seen a talking cat before? No, of course not! But in creative writing, you can let your imagination run wild and create whatever you want! Also on page 34 of the story, the Sun is seen signing autographs because he is a “star”. You can discuss with your child the play on words presented, as well as discuss the likelihood of the real sun being able to hold a pen and write.
Connect the Dots – Constellations are pictures we draw in our minds, connecting the stars together. Look at the constellation pictures on pages 30 and 31, and really look at how what can appear to be random stars can actually become pictures by drawing lines to connect them. If your child is interested, have them create his own connect the dot picture!
Multiplication - The earth spins once (1) a day, so how many times will it spin in a week (7 days)? A month (30-31 days)? A year (365 days)?
Size - The Sun is described as being big enough for a milLion Earths to fit right in, and Jupiter is described as being bigger than all the other planets combined. Discuss the concepts of big, bigger and biggest. If you have nesting dolls or bowls, you can use these to help visually explain the concept of an object being big enough to hold many smaller objects within it.
Buoyancy – In the story, Saturn is described as being able to float in an ocean and not even sink! This is referring to Saturn being buoyant. Buoyancy is defined as the tendency of a body to float or to rise when in a fluid; the power of a fluid to put an upward force on a body placed in it.
Have fun with your child experimenting with this concept. What items in your home are buoyant and what items aren’t? Play the sink or float game in the bathtub or kitchen sink. Some fun items to get you started – ice cube, paper clip, plastic cup, hairbrush, egg, shampoo bottle, soap, etc.
Temperature- Mercury is described as being hot in the daytime but freezing at night. Describe these opposite temperatures with your child and come up with examples of things that are hot and freezing. You may choose to turn this into experiments or a cooking class, making ice cream, making ice cubes, boiling water or heating up a frozen pizza.
Looking at the Sun - Why can’t you look right at the Sun? You should be very careful when observing the sun. When sunlight enters your eye, the energy in the light transfers into heat. The energy is focused by the lenses in your eyes and can burn your retina, causing permanent damage or even blindness. The damage can be even more severe when attempting to look at the sun through an optical device such as a telescope. Please discuss this with your children and teach them to be cautious and respectful of the Sun.
Telescope – a telescope is an instrument used to view distant objects by focusing light rays with mirrors or lenses. At the end of the story the Cat gives the children a present – a telescope to look in the sky! Do you have a telescope at home? If so, this is a perfect excuse to allow them to stay up a little past their bedtime and do some family star gazing! Lie out a blanket, and take your telescope and look up at God’s wonderful creation. A wonderful resource would be “Find the Constellations” by H.A. Rey. This is a book for an older child, but the book gives a wonderful description of the constellations, where you can find them and what they look like!
What makes us sneeze? On Mars, one of the Things sneezes because it is covered
with dust. I thought it would be a fun tidbit to discuss this phenomena -- What
is it that causes us to sneeze? According to the Ask a Doctor section of
factmonster.com, “We sneeze to clear our breathing passages. We all have a
natural reflex to sneeze whenever a small foreign substance enters our airways.
So don’t hold back your sneezes – let ‘em