Blasting Through the Solar System!

Holt. (Albert Hopper, Science Hero: Bk. 2). Feb. 2021. 144p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781250230188.
Gr 1-3–Professor Albert Hopper and the young junior science heroes, Polly and Tad, are back. This time, the amphibian hero of science is taking his niece and nephew on a trip through the solar system on his new, pigeon-shaped rocket ship. Although facts about space are presented throughout the book, the frogs’ adventures also involve the fantastic, including breaks to build a clubhouse on Mars or have a picnic on a comet. Outside of short appearances by a sentient Pluto and a very confused autopilot system, the three frogs are the only characters, making it easy for young readers to follow their banter and travels from planet to planet. Comical black-and-white illustrations (with highlights of green) are on nearly every page, breaking up the text and further solidifying the preposterousness of the frog’s escapades. Polly’s notes at the end of the story summarize what the characters have learned along the way, but those who are interested in the solar system will need additional resources.
VERDICT An early chapter book suitable for young readers seeking comical science fiction.

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