Pluto! Not a planet? not a problem!

Stacy McAnulty

Book - 2023

"Hot diggity dog! Meet Pluto! The runt of a litter of eight planets. Pluto may not be the biggest or fastest planet to revolve around the Sun, but it has a unique story to tell. From the tale of how it was found by humans to its naming as a dwarf planet, it's Pluto's turn to take the spotlight and properly re-introduce itself."--Publisher marketing.

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2 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j523.49/McAnulty Checked In
Children's Room j523.49/McAnulty Checked In
Creative nonfiction
Informational works
Picture books
New York : Henry Holt and Company 2023.
Main Author
Stacy McAnulty (author)
Other Authors
Stevie Lewis (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by School Library Journal Review

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 VERDICT Add this, along with the other books in the series, to your very likely outdated solar system collection.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.--Sue Morgan

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Meet Pluto, a "proud, playful, and popular non-planet." Today's young readers likely grew up learning that there are only eight planets in our solar system, a fact that sets them apart from generations past. Pluto may well have been stricken from the planetary record, but in "his" own words, "Not a planet? Not a problem!" McAnulty's chipper text seems torn between a multitude of directions. It could have been a story about identity and how it's OK not to fit in. It could have been an exploration of the solar system, what's in it, and how humans have studied it. It could have offered knowledge about dwarf planets and what makes them special. It somehow manages to do all and none of these things, likely limited by the young age of its intended audience. What stands out most are the facts, interspersed throughout the text and also found in the backmatter; the story itself, conversational, bubbly, and littered with misplaced dog metaphors (Pluto dubs himself both a "runt" and a "stray"), isn't quite as engaging as it attempts to be. The highly anthropomorphized art is bright and cute, although the occasional floppy ears are somewhat disconcerting. Backmatter is highly informative, containing those juicy specialized details sure to please space-loving readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.) An endearing but unfocused look at everyone's favorite dwarf planet. (author's note, statistics on Pluto, information on what makes something a planet, sources, "Pluto or Earth or Both?") (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.