Meet the Planets by Caryl Hart
Illus. by Bethan Woollvin. Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781408892985.
(Age: 3-6) Highly recommended. Blast off in a rocket to meet all the planets in the solar system, including Pluto the dwarf planet. In rhyming couplets, Caryl Hart has provided readers with a fun and informative book that is very enjoyable and which describes each planet and its characteristics.
Children will enjoy the rhymes which read aloud very well and they will have fun joining in and learning about each of the planets. Starting off with an introduction to the sun (I'm friendly but don't get too close now / or I'll frizzle you up to a fry!), the small child accompanied by a dog, zooms around meeting each planet in turn: speedy Mercury, Venus covered in fierce spitting volcanoes, Earth and its silver Moon, Mars covered in rust-coloured dust, Jupiter the biggest of planets, Saturn with its sparkly rings, freezing Uranus, ice giant Neptune and little dwarf planet Pluto.
Set against a black background, the planets are illustrated with wide eyes giving each a distinct character and the vivid colours also match the characteristics of the planets. I loved the illustration for Mercury, with colours streaming behind its grey and white face, making it easy to remember that it is the fast planet. Jupiter, vivid in yellow and orange, hugs its moon Ganymede and is huge, taking up a whole page. The end papers show the planets revolving around the sun in order. They are a perfect complement to the clever text and will really appeal to young children.
This book is a memorable and unique way to introduce children to the planets and will be enjoyed by all who read it. Themes: Astronomy, Planets, Rockets, STEM.