Meet the Planets

School Library Journal-July 2011

Amusingly framed as a cheesy popularity contest, this parade of personified planets features illustrations in which rotund, recognizably marked caricatures of these heavenly bodies pose and mug, surrounded by an entourage of relevant...scientists, space probes, satellites both natural and artificial, books, constellations, and astronomical symbols. For young judges who prefer to make decisions by the numbers, the final three spreads are packed with charts, physical facts, and quizzes, all of which are supplemented by much more of the same in a dedicated area of the publisher’s website. The breezy, unconventional approach makes this a promisingly engaging way to introduce, or re-introduce, our celestial neighbors.
- John Peters, Formerly of New York Public Library

Library Media Connection-Nov/Dec 2011

Although presented in picture book format, this clever book will get older elementary scientists talking. We meet the planets in a Miss America-style pageant. Each double page spread with cartoonish illustrations presents a different anthropomorphized planet. Many of the introductions include splashes of facts such as size, composition, or namesake. Most intriguing are the picture clues with each planet: different satellites, Ptolemy, Gustav Holtz, Greek gods and goddesses, Osiris, H. G. Wells, etc; appear with the relevant planet. Readers will enjoy guessing why certain authors, scientists, gods, or alients are associated with the planet. The answers can be found on Arbordale's website-along with other activities to support the book. Although not a "hard science" book about the planets, this fun romp will engage students as to how the planets have shaped human art, history, architecture, mythology, and religion.
- Melinda Elzinga, Librarian, Boulder CO

Science Books and Films-June 2011

A simple introduction to our solar system for very young audiences, this appealing little book should be a big hit with the lower elementary grade levels. The illustrations are cute and colorful. The text contains interesting facts that are appropriate for first and second graders.

The book may also be useful for teachers and parents to recite to nonreaders. Perhaps the most useful aspect of the book is the collection of pages at the end in which various activities, questions, and charts are displayed to enhance the text in further the young reader’s grasp of planetary knowledge.
Gary W. Finiol, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO

The Planetary Society - October 2012

Another book with fun pencil illustrations by Laurie Allen Klein, with John McGranaghan's sometimes silly but fact-filled text introducing each planet as if it was a contestant in a pageant. The text is good but the illustrations are what make me enjoy this book so much; crowding around each planet are historical figures and personified (yet still recognizable, if you know your stuff) spacecraft. Back pages contain challenge activities for kids, better, I think, than the usual couple of pages of dense facts.

Marianne Dyson - April 2012

While browsing the Arbordale booth at the annual Texas Library Association meeting, I was immediately captivated by the cover ofMeet the Planets, , illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein. I picked up a sample copy and was overjoyed to discover the text by John McGranaghan (who wrote Saturn for My Birthday) was as lively and entertaining as the illustrations.

This book gets a rare (from me!) perfect score on accuracy. Even the proper scale of the planets is provided in the back. The author and illustrator obviously did their homework, but some credit also belongs to Drs. Curt and Susan Niebur who served as consultants. (I had the honor of meeting the Neibers and serving on a panel at a planetary science conference with Susan, who unfortunately succumbed to cancer earlier this year.)

Meet the Planets provides a delightful pageant of the planets for the eyes and the mind. I urge all parents and teachers to use this book to introduce “all eight planets dressed in their Solar System best.” I don’t know which planet you will choose as your favorite, but this book sure is a winner!

This book earns my “exceptional” rating of 6 points for accurate facts, clear descriptions, a highly creative approach to a “common” topic, excellent readability, use of science in the text, and giving perky little Pluto a place of honor as the host!

Chat with Vera - June 2014

The author and illustrator have both packed a lot of information into this cute book giving us facts about each planet, history of astrology as it pertains to the planet being featured, etc. The storyline is cute and engaging.

Eclectic Homeschool Online - February 2012

Meet the Planets is written in the cheerful, enthusiastic tone of a contest. Each planet is introduced as a contestant vying to be chosen as the favorite planet. Eight planets are represented here, whimsically illustrated with faces and arms and legs, along with symbols and historical figures associated with the study of astronomy. The introductions are brief, containing a few facts about the planet on display. In the end, the reader gets to choose the winner

Frugal Family Tree - January 2012

My son likes to say Moon so thats what he called all the planets in the book. It is a cute book that introduces each of the planets like they are in a fashion contest. It gives facts about them in a creative way. The illustrations are great and very colorful. I learned a few things myself that I did not know. Plus the back pages of the book included interactive question and learning tools to teach more about the Planets.

BookLoons - May 2011

Laurie Allen Klein does a beautiful job of illustrating this fun-to-read book on planets. Designed to attract middle grade readers from 9 to 12, Meet the Planets is chock full of information with six additional pages of activities.

Midwest Book Review-July 2011

Meet The Planets is a fantastic combination picture book/encyclopedia of fun information about the solar system's eight planets. Narrated by the former ninth planet, Pluto (now known as a dwarf planet), the story becomes a contest of pick your favorite planet. The Sun was supposed to judge, but can't decide, so the readers become the judges, and the meteors have to leave for a shower. Who can decide who the winner will be? stunning color illustrations include many learning references about the planets that kids will want to investigate through extra teaching activities, interactive reading comprehension and math quizzes, and Meet the Planets' homepage ( Presented in both hard cover and paperback, also in ebooks, and Spanish and English with audio, Meet the Planets is the perfect science solutions to learning activities about our solar system for students age 6 and up.

Books by a Mother's Touch - July 2011

The unique attributes of each planet are displayed in a fun way that helps kids want to learn more.

Stories for Children - July 2011

This was a very creative way to learn about the planets. I learned some interesting facts about the planets in reading this book to my children!  The Favorite Planet Competition format is an attention-grabbing idea that hooked my kids right way.  Having my kids and I (all readers when reading) decide the winner of the competition allowed us to be involved, and is very clever.  I found some of the vocabulary used in the book to be a bit high for a five year old, but it would enhance a five year old’s personal language skills.   Definitely a resourceful and fun book.

A Patchwork of Books-May 2011

Short and simple, yet filled with facts, I was really impressed with the whole package and I think teachers/librarians will be too.

Reading to Know - May 2011

Each planet is introduced in the competition with a variety of facts, causing the children to glean information while perhaps engaging in a little friendly competition. At the end of the book, of course, you can vote for your favorite planet and decide which you think is best! This is an interesting and clever way to present facts, in my opinion. I think it's a fun title to have on hand for younger readers who are just beginning to explore beyond on our planet, Earth.

Heck of a Bunch - May 2011

In a setting where planets are judged as to which is better, Meet the Planets is an informative look at all the planets and what makes them so special.  This book is amusing with its tongue-in-cheek facts about each planet and the characterful illustrations make it delightful to read. The kids and I discussed which planet we thought was best after reading the story and it was fascinating to hear the reasons why. 2011

Learning and reading can be fun. This book carries that out as the child learns his/her planets.

Welcome to Our Wonderland - April 2011

This book is not only super cute but full of all kinds of info that you and your kids will find interesting. I love how it is full of lots of information but uses words that your kids will know and understand. The Illustrations are so great, I love them they are colorful and smooth almost like it was done with crayons or something similar. This book is a wonderful addition to any Planet unit study.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - April 2011

This is an exciting, fun way to learn about the Solar System as young students travel with Pluto during a Favorite Planet Competition!

Books 4 Learning - April 2011

Author John McGranaghan creatively introduces readers to the planets in the Milky Way using the competition framework. The fast-paced text offers up an intriguing glimpse into the unfathomable world of outer space.  Captivated readers will be eager to learn more about space and the Greek mythology references.  The imaginative illustrations by Laurie Allen Klein depict astronomers, scientist, mathematicians, and other historical figures related to the study of space.  She cleverly incorporates famous works of art and historical objects.  Arbordale’s across the curriculum teaching guide identifies all the figures and connections, prompting research and learning opportunities.  There are so many layers to this book that each time through can be a new experience, depending on the level, age, and interest of the participants. Meet the Plants is an out of this world journey through space and learning.

Just Another Review Blog - April 2011

Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan is a beautifully illustrated children's book about the planets in the Solar System. It introduces kids to the inner and outer planets, from Mercury to Neptune, presenting interesting facts about each planet in turn. The author gives quite a bit of information in a fun, kid-friendly way, and succeeds in making the book educational as well as entertaining. At the end of the book, there is a special section For Creative Minds. It includes a table with how long it takes each planet to revolve around the Sun, surface temperatures, distance from the Sun, solar system true or false questions, and more.