Reviews for Planets

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
Part of Scholastic's new Discover More series, this highly pictorial volume's title is a bit misleading, as there is as much information about related topics as there is about our solar system's eight largest bodies. In the book's first half, each planet garners a double-page spread with additional information--asteroids, space probes, and so on--often included. The second half of the book is about space travel, exploration, and what lies beyond our solar system. Each page features an attractive, colorful mixture of abundant photos, drawings, and diagrams with short blocks of strategically placed text in a large font against mostly black backgrounds. The information is scaled to confident readers (the series breaks itself into three tiers of reading skill); and young researchers seeking in-depth explanations will want to consult additional titles. A unique feature of this series is an accompanying digital book, accessed via a code, that includes videos, quizzes, and so on. This highly browsable title should spark plenty of interest for classroom and personal reading. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

Gr 3-5--Unexceptional in informational content but handsomely laid out and well endowed with special features, this introduction to the solar system and space exploration merits a spot in deeper, high-demand collections. It features single topic spreads on which sharply reproduced astronomy photos and images mingle with (usually) white on black captions, facts, cross references, and two or three sentence blocks of text. Spreads on the Moon landings, the Galileo probe, the Milky Way and extrasolar planets, observatories, and several other related topics, plus a short interview with an astronaut, expand the customary planet-by-planet tour--as does a downloadable ebook supplement (for Mac or PC) with video clips and quizzes that takes detailed looks at six significant probes and spacecraft. Oddly phrased claims include, "[i]t takes one day for Earth to rotate on itself," and that a solar flare "cut off the telegraph wires 150 years ago." An assertion that the dwarf planets are all farther away from the Sun than the primary ones is incorrect, an implication that Mercury's entire surface is a uniform temperature is misleading, and the space exploration time line stops at 2001. Furthermore, aside from an oblique nod in the astronaut interview, the end of the space shuttle program goes unmentioned. Consider as an appealing, if supplementary, choice.--John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City

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