Pluto!: Not a Planet? Not a Problem!

Holt. May 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250813466.
Gr 2-5–Fans of McAnulty’s “Our Universe” series will be thrilled with her latest entry on dwarf planet Pluto. Exuberant illustrations show pale orange Pluto as a self-described “lovable family pet” with big black eyes and winning smile. Each of the eight planets—also depicted with friendly faces—is introduced with a simple identifying characteristic, such as “Mars, the red one, Jupiter, the big one, Earth, the one with ice cream and books.” The real focus, of course, is on adorable Pluto, which is shown spinning (orbiting) and waving to other planets (to show the relative distance from each other as well as the orbit’s path). Pluto also shows us that it has real heart—an actual heart-shaped area of ice—that makes it “frozen but friendly.” A brief foray into history shows how Pluto was added, then removed, from the lineup of planets. Pluto assures readers that there are no hard feelings, however, as it proclaims itself a “proud, playful and popular non-planet.” Facts are presented in large readable text and clear language, with just enough information to convey concepts without becoming overwhelming. Back matter includes an author’s note, additional information, and a list of sources.
VERDICT Add this, along with the other books in the series, to your very likely outdated solar system collection. Highly recommended.

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