NONFICTION

If Pluto Was a Pea

Margaret K. McElderry Bks/S. & S./. Aug. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534404359.
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PreS-Gr 2–Pluto plays a pea to Jupiter’s beach ball in this picture book comparing sizes in the solar system. A young boy and girl of different ethnicities ponder the relative proportion of planets. The text is simple and concise; each page contains one sentence set amid large, inviting, and sometimes humorous cartoon illustrations. Readers learn that Pluto is smaller than the Earth’s moon, represented as a blueberry. There is some abstract speculation here.; while the audience can easily imagine the size of a Ping-Pong ball (Venus) or a golf ball (Earth), a tent (sun) and pumpkin (Saturn) can vary widely in size. Parenthetical centimeters and inches are included, and adult guidance can make the sizes more apparent. Pluto’s five moons sneak into the text; if Pluto really were the size of a pea, the smallest moon, Styx, would be too small to see. The book ends with the boy and girl staring up and marveling at the stars.
VERDICT An adequate take on size comparison

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