Astronomy Education for Schools, Clubs, and the Public
After 33 years in the classroom, Dayle retired to pursue her love of art and to continue with her love
of planetarium education. These interests developed into a desire to write and illustrate children's books.
SKYLORE FROM PLANET EARTH: STORIES FROM AROUND THE
Reviewed by Georgia Neff, Peoria, Illinois, USA in the September, 2005 issue of the PLANETARIAN, Journal
of the International Planetarium Society. Vol 34, No. 3, page 38.
This book charmingly illustrated by the author,
retells the tale of Orion as seen by fifteen different cultures. For every planetarian who has shared the story of Orion
and Diana more times than can be counted, here are possibly unfamiliar legends from around the world.
continent is represented, plus Polynesia. The stars of Orion variously represent individual animals or people, or whole battle
scenes. Each simply-told story includes a full-page illustration suggesting the art style of the people who told that version
of the tale. The artwork incorporates the star pattern as seen from the tale's area of origin.
A parent-teacher guide
with background information, a vocabulary list, activities and a very useful chart of National Education Standards correlation
is available to accompany the book. The guide contains reproducible sheets for use with students or cmp groups. Skylore's
extensive bibliography llists a variety of books and articles for further reading.
This book would be a great addition
to your collection of storytelling tools. Teachers would enjoy it for the variety of intedisciplinary activities. Planetarians
will find it a source of new stories to tell. Camp and scout leaders will find it a great resource for multi-cultural events.
And any reader will enjoy the variety of tales. Order it on-line at www.authorhouse.com.
SKYLORE FROM PLANET EARTH: STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD...PLEIADES
by Chuck Bueter, Granger, Indiana, USA in the September, 2006 issue of the PLANETARIAN, Journal of the International Planetarium
Society, Vol. 35, No. 3, page 43.
Star stories are prioritized thoughts kept in the collective vault of our heritage.
The Skylore from Planet Earth series engages readers by spotlighting a single celestial feature and viewing it through the
filters of various cultures.
Among the impacts of the Pleiades star cluster are the visual spectacle, the emotional
affiliation, and the storytelling that bridges the two. In the book PLEIADES, 15 interpretations from around the globe attest
to the appeal of this eye-catching shimmer in the constellation of Taurus.
Veteran planetarian Dayle Brown, a gifted
artist, paints a fuller understanding of this cluster's influence. Each of the 15 Pleiades stories is a concise and visually
appealing morsel, tempting the reader to eagerly move on to the next flavor before finishing savoring the current one. I
raced headlong from Croatia to Africa to Siberia to Guatemala and beyond, sampling each region's lore through the common denominator
of a star cluster.
Each Pleiades legend is told simply on one page, with illustrations that portray key players and
terms around the perimeter of the text. Brown's renderings of the characters are imbedded in a stylistic star field on the
facing page. A small Earth globe in the page corner reminds readers where the people who shared this story reside. This
is an excellent "interdisciplinary" book-history, geography, literature, and art blend together beautifully.
eager to read this short book because I wanted to know how other sky observers treated the Pleiades conundrum; that is, are
there six or are there seven discernible stars in this cluster, and how do othes reconcile the discrepancy? But I had to
wait for my answer.
In a true display of the book's appeal, my 10-year old daughter, a fan of the Orion book of the
same series, snatched PLEIADES from me and immediately read it cover to cover. She was quite satisfied with its content.
"I enjoy learning new stories from around the world," she noted, "so this book is right up my alley." Before relinquishing
it to me, she assured me PLEIADES was a great book for readers of all ages.
During my turn to read it, I discovered
that some storytellers account for the seventh star, while others omit it. The conundrum remains. Nonetheless, I was continually
impressed by the gifted weaving of local curcumstances into the respective stories.
At the end, Brown invites readers
to make up their own tales. Surely more Pleiades stories are out there somewhere, awaiting their time in history. Perhaps
some day one of those stories, modern to us, might eventally take hold in the minds of a larger population.
meantime, while I re-read PLEIADES (savoring it this time, rather than gulping it whole), both my daughter and I eagerly await
Brown's next installment of SKYLORE FROM PLANET EARTH.
FROM PLANET EARTH: STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD...MILKY WAY
in September, 2008 issue of Planetarian, Journal of the International Planetarium Society by April Whitt, Astronomer, Fernbank
Science Center, Atlanta, GA.
This third book in Dayle Brown's beautiful series of Skylore books may well be my
favorite. Fifteen stories collected from six continents show the wonderful cultural similarities and differences we humans
share. I recommend it for planetarians, teachers in science, reading or social studies, and families. If we had a gift shop
here at Fernbank, I'd recommend it for sale here, too.
Each story is on a single page, bordered by images from
that story or culture, with a facing full-page watercolor image. Some of the stories were familiar: the Cherokee "Spirit
Dog" spilling cornmeal as he escapes across the night sky, the Estonian story of Lindu's Veil that I first heard Gary
Lazich tell at a long-ago conference, the story of the ashes from the San in South Africa.
But there are new ones
as well. The Incan story tells of a foolish fox, leading a group of animals up an irrigation canal, imagined as the "dark
constellations" along the southern Milky Way. The Silver River story from Japan is beautifully illustrated with silver
fish trying to avoid the crescent moon "hook". In Polynesia, a great blue shark swims safely along his sky river.
An excellent reader's guide is available from the author as well (email her at email@example.com). Background
information about the stories, activities and worksheets, and correlation of the stories with a variety of (U.S.) National
Education Standards across disciplines enhances this collection of sky tales.
The SKYLORE series is available from the Science
Visit them on line.
SKYLORE FROM PLANET EARTH: STORIES FROM
AROUND THE WORLD...VENUS
Reviewed in the September, 2011 issue of Planetarian, Journal of the International Planetarium Society.
Vol. 40, No. 3. p. 69, by April Whitt, Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The next eagerly-awaited
volume in Dayle Brown's Skylore
from Planet Earth series
is here. The topic is Venus, the illustrations are lovely, and the stories are a beautiful mix from all over the world.
every continent is represented. Greek Aphrodite, Dawn's Heart fro the Kalahari, China's Liu Chun, Australian Barnambir,
Kuamachi from Venezuela, and the Native American White Star Woman all grace these pages. Each book in this series contains
The writing is simple enough for younger readers. The intricate illustrations
are full of details that children, as well as older readers, will enjoy discovering. Each reflects its parent culture.
Rock art from the San people is adapted for Dawn's Heart. The white bird of the aborigine ancestral being Barnambir
recalls dot-design bark paintings. Aztec glyphs mark the story of Quetzalcoatl. Ishtar's story is decorated with
An introduction gives the reader information about Venus the planet in its
morning and evening star aspects. An excellent glossary follows, along with credits and references for both the writing
and the illustrations. And there is a page of information about seven spacecraft that have explored Venus, from the
Venera program in 1961 to Venus Express in 2005.
I've found these books to be a real asset in the planetarium.
The variety of tales is a welcome resource for star stories, and many I had never heard before.
volumes told stories of Orion, the Pleiades and the Milky Way. The back cover of Venus indicates that two more books
are coming soon: the Moon and the Sun. I'm looking forward to them!