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Exploring Stars and Planets is the latest version of my long-established book for 8- to 14-year-olds originally known as Atlas of Stars & Planets. It is produced and published in London by George Philip Ltd, the well-known map company. In the US Atlas of Stars & Planets was published by Facts on File under the title Stars & Planets Atlas and with a different cover design, but the same content.

The book began life as a companion to David and Jill Wright’s Children’s Atlas, also a Philip’s/Facts on File co-production. I adopted their idea of using postage stamps among the illustrations, from which grew my hobby of collecting astronomy- and space-themed stamps. You can see some of my astro-stamp collection elsewhere on my web pages.

Atlas of Stars & Planets first appeared in 1992, with updated editions in 1997 and 2001. A reset and redesigned fourth edition was published in 2004 in the UK and Commonwealth, and in the US in 2005. Exploring Stars and Planets succeeded them in 2011. A Kindle edition appeared in 2012.

A paperback version of Exploring Stars and Planets, along with a Solar System poster by me and a luminous planisphere by Wil Tirion, make up the Philip’s Astronomy Starter Pack, published in the UK in 2011 November. There are also French and German editions of the pack under the respective titles À la découverte de l’Astronomie and Starter-Set Astronomie.