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Solar System: By the Numbers

HMH. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781328850973; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781328850980.
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Gr 2-5–Jenkins uses inviting, colorful, and clearly labeled infographics to examine planets, asteroids, comets, moons, weather, gravity, space exploration, and more as he introduces readers to our solar system’s place in the universe, the changes that have occurred over time, and the possibility that there is life beyond Earth. Jenkins shares compelling information about what is currently known while also delving into the likelihood of discovering new knowledge. One infographic shows the number of moons that orbit the outer planets and explains: “New moons are frequently discovered, so these numbers will probably change.” Similar notes mention that data about the number of dwarf planets, comets, and new space explorations could change. Many fascinating facts are presented about solar system weather (rain and snow, maximum wind speeds, and average temperatures on various planets), existing oceans, the dangers that asteroids and comets cause when they crash into Earth, the number of times astronauts have visited places in the solar system, and different animals that have traveled on space missions.
VERDICT This book is truly a visual and informational feast. While it is an excellent addition to science units on astronomy, it is also a useful mentor text for developing graphic literacy. Recommended for enjoyable reading, browsing, and discussing.

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