For science buffs. Sharing the wonder of Halley's comet

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The Comet and You, by E. C. Krupp. Illustrated by Robin Rector Krupp. New York: Macmillan. 48 pp. $12.95. When Edwin C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, was about six years old, a book that introduced him to Halley's comet fired his imagination. He realized, with a sense of wonder and anticipation that has never lapsed, that he could see that marvelous comet when it returned. He adds that as the celestial visitor neared Earth, he wanted to write a book that would inspire children (aged 6 to 9) today the way his first astronomy book inspired him.

Together with his artist wife, Robin, he has produced a little gem of a book. It is so well done, in fact, that it captured the 1985 American Institute of Physics Science-Writing award in Physics and Astronomy against the stiff competition of a number of excellent books aimed at adult layman readers.

The book is imaginative, authoritative, and just plain fun. Text and illustrations combine into a unified presentation that should help children get the most out of the comet's return.

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Seeing this rare visitor ``becomes one of those little nuggets of your life that's a reference [point],'' Dr. Krupp observes. He envisions people taking small children by the hand out under the night sky to see the comet -- to have something to remember. ``I think it's got tremendous human values,'' he says. This book will help children and their adult companions to realize them.

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