XO, Exoplanet

Little, Brown. Nov. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780759557437.
PreS-Gr 2–Planets from our solar system send letters of love and friendship to an exoplanet, learning that different perspectives provide opportunities to grow. Bright digital art depicts anthropomorphized planets with fashion statements and personalities to match. Saturn’s large eyeglasses mirror its rings, while Uranus wears a knitted cap as it’s colder than other planets since it’s farther from the sun. Jupiter, larger than all the others, dictates letters like a CEO. Underwood weaves in the definition of an exoplanet clearly, and the pun of signing XO as missives fly back and forth in “space express” rockets creates great read-aloud moments. The crux of the story, whether our solar system’s planets are the exoplanets or the other planet is the exoplanet, causes disruption. A comet resolves it by pointing out how this is based on point-of-view. Comparisons of which planets are big or small, hot or cold, are discussed in relation to the sun, and this provides a teachable moment in differences and conflict resolution. A scientific note is included.
VERDICT A delightful purchase that creates accessible paths to learning more.

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