Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Review: Discover Planets Series from Lerner



Just in time for the 2019 Summer Reading theme of space! Half of the eight books in this series (no, they don't include Pluto - hmph!) are written by Georgia Beth, the other half by Margaret Goldstein. Both authors are familiar names among Lerner's publications, from collections of jokes to books about Native American civil rights.

Basic facts about each planet are included, along with simple explanations (what does it mean when we say Saturn is the least dense planet?) Fun "STEM Highlights" help give those facts more meaning (Saturn's lack of density means it gets squished as it spins! Each season is seven years long! That is WAY too much winter for anyone.) Text doesn't simply detail what we know, but also how we know it (Did you know Mercury is shrinking? The core is still hot, but the outer layers are cooler, so it is wrinkling up like a cookie when it bakes and cools!)

Illustrations, both drawings and photographs, are crisp and bright. I appreciated notes telling where color had been added, and why. A section in each called "Looking Ahead" details future planned explorations, or things scientists still want to learn about each planet.

If I were an elementary grade student needing to create a poster board for an assigned planet, this would be my go-to series. As a librarian/teacher, I may be pulling some display and experiment ideas from these myself! A solid addition to the classroom or school library.

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