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Skywatcher's Companion

Authors:
Stan Shadick
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Status: In Print
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;
Authentic Canadian Content

Skywatcher's Companion: Constellations and Their Mythology
A Starry Starry Night Discovery Book (series)

A colourful and informative sidekick to Stan Shadick's hugely popular Skywatchers Calendar

The star-studded night sky is the biggest movie screen in the universe, and it has fired the human imagination ever since our ancestors first looked up in awe and marvelled at its grandeur and its mysterious twinkling lights. Over the last 5,000 years, people from many different cultures have been inspired to create stories about the formations that the sky's billions of stars seem to make.

Each culture's stories, or myths, are known collectively as a mythology. They were created to explain mysteries of the natural world, such as why storms occur, why the seasons change and why crows do not sing like other birds. Among the first people to tell these stories were the ancient kingdoms of Mesopotamia, located roughly where the country of Iraq is today. As these kingdoms grew and prospered, mythological beliefs came to be tied to the heavens above. Star formations were attributed to the gods-for if not the work of the greatest gods, what could these jewel-like objects, so beautiful and constantly changing, possibly be?-and often represented legendary heroes on Earth who had somehow earned an eternal place in the night sky. Storytellers made up new tales to explain how the lives and actions of those gods influenced the lives of humans.

Discover the wonders of the night sky and learn how to find the star patterns that have inspired the myths and storytelling of great cultures of the past. Meet the gods and goddesses of Rome, Greece and Mesopotamia and see how they found their way into the many constellations that dominate the ever-changing northern sky. Learn how the same stars inspired legends of the Native peoples in Canada, the United States, northern Europe and elsewhere. See how the sky changes with the seasons but always remains the biggest movie screen in the universe.

These myths give us insights into how ancient people tried to make sense of the world they lived in and the sky above it. Learning about the constellations and their mythology is the focus of this book; future books in this new series will explore other aspects of our starry, starry nights.

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