Non-Fiction · Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: Odd Science – Spectacular Space by James Olsen

Review: Odd Science – Spectacular Space by James Olsen


Did you know that NASA astronauts have grown plants in space? That the highest mountain known to mankind is on an asteroid? That the centre of a comet is made of ice? This book is filled with fascinating facts about the world beyond our planet.

A contents page divides the book into different facts although the sections are not divided. This could be flicked through or consulted for facts on one subject, although I think its strength is in the former. It’s striking, retro-style illustrations catch the reader’s interest and make it impossible to resist finding out more. 

With one or two facts on every page, limited to a few short lines of text, this is the perfect book to foster an early interest in space and physics. 

The book covers facts about space itself – about planets and asteroids and gravity – but it is high on human activity in space and the advances made by space science. With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing taking place this year, there has never been a better time to read up on this topic. 

The restricted colour palette and use of block colour backgrounds gives the illustrations a  pop-art feel, although the humour in them brings them right up to date. They would translate into beautiful posters and it is impossible not to stop and look closer when flicking through the book.


Thanks to Catherine Ward PR and Pavillion Books for my gifted copy of Odd Science – Spectacular Space. Opinions my own.

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