Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Children's Book Review: Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan

32 pg, 10 x 8.5, ages 5-10, Lexile: AD 760
Hardcover ISBN: 9781607181231, $16.95
Paperback ISBN: 9781607181330, $8.95


Soar into the Solar System to witness the first Favorite Planet Competition, emceed by none other than the former-ninth planet, now known as dwarf planet Pluto. The readers become the judges after the sun can’t pick a favorite and the meteors leave for a shower. Who will the lucky winning planet be? Could it be speedy-messenger Mercury, light-on-his-feet Saturn, or smoking-hot Venus? Readers learn all about each planet as Pluto announces them with short, tongue-in-cheek facts. Children will spend hours searching the art for all the references to famous scientists and people of history, space technology, constellations, art, and classic literature.

My Review:

I just loved this book!  What really caught my eye were the beautiful and very detailed illustrations done by Laurie Allen Klein.  Just look at a few of the illustrations included in this book:

As for the story, what a great way to introduce a young child to the Solar System and the planets.  Through the use of a Favorite Planet Competition, the reader learns key facts about each planet.  If your child is beginning to learn about the planets, this would make a great educational compilation.  Or, if they are science or astrology lovers, they are sure to enjoy the jam packed book about the Solar System.  Who knew you could make learning about the Solar System so fun?  This would make for a great book to read under the stars one summer night, or will become a book your child will want to share with their class during show and tell. 

If you are a librarian or school teacher, you definitely need to add this book to your collection.

About the Author:

John McGranaghan (Saturn for My Birthday, Meet the Planets Spring 2011)has always been fascinated by outer space and he shares that fascination in a humorous (but educational) way through Meet the Planets and Saturn for My Birthday. John has also written stories and articles for Boys’ Quest Magazine, Pockets Magazine, Columbia Magazine, and local newspapers. He is winner of the 2001 Pockets Fiction Contest. When John isn’t writing, he enjoys sports and spending time with his wife and two boys. John is a school counselor in the Philadelphia suburbs. Website / School Visit Info

About the Illustrator:

Laurie Allen Klein has been a freelance artist for nearly 20 years. Over the last several years, she has worked as the on-staff artist for a marine park, where she does everything from painting life-size sea animal murals, to illustrating children's activity books. In addition to the Fall 2010 release Furs and Feathers (color pencil, water-color color pencil, a bit of acrylic paint wash, and gesso), Laurie also illustrated Where Should Turtle Be? (Prisma color pencil and acrylic paint), the award-winning Little Skink's Tail (acrylic paint), and If a Dolphin Were a Fish (colored pencils) for Sylvan Dell. Her other books include The Out to Pasture series, authored by Effie Wilder. Laurie lives in Florida. Visit Laurie's website.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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