Just a little fun this Friday, as we feature a new children’s book about the planets that might be just right for the children in your life. Read the review, enter the contest, and if you’ll leave a comment about your favorite solar system book(s) for children, I will happily make a resource list to share here, at my personal site, and provide as a resource to Teach Mama‘s We Teach community of over 1500 active parents as teachers!
Meet The Planets, by John McGranaghan, is a beautiful way to introduce your kid (or your kid’s classroom) to our solar system! The style is casual and conversational, with Pluto as the host of a game show-like Favorite Planet Competition. The illustrations, by Laurie Allen Klein, are intricately detailed and simply gorgeous, with so much more than the planets themselves illustrated — each page also includes depictions of spacecraft visiting the planets and an audience of astronomers, moons, and constellation imagery. The book is great as an on-your-own exploration or an engaging read-aloud for younger kids. We’ve had our copy for a few days, and my kindergartner has picked it up to investigate on his own again and again.
A helpful appendix includes six pages of learning activities, teaching science, math, technology, and education (STEM) skills like collecting data, working with time and temperature, comparing the length of a day and a year for the planets, working with large numbers (up to 4.5 billion km, the average distance from the Sun to Neptune), images to explore (from Stonehenge to Cassini), and a true/false quiz based on facts introduced earlier in the book. The activities are supplemented with additional free activities that anyone can download.
This book is a lot of fun, with beautiful illustrations and a concept that doesn’t leave poor little Pluto out in the cold. Well, not any colder than he already is!
Full disclosure: Curt and I reviewed this book for scientific accuracy; we’re credited on the flap, but we received no financial compensation for the work or for this post. We did receive several copies of the book to use or give away; the author will send an autographed copy of the book to the winner randomly selected from all entries on this post.
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Meet the Planets, just leave a comment below. For extra entries, “like” Women in Planetary Science on Facebook, and leave another comment telling me that you’ve done so! I’ll use random.org to select the winner at 5 p.m. next Friday, May 6. (And yes, if you find a similar contest running on my other site this week, you’re welcome to enter both!)