Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System
Author: Bethany Ehlmann with Jennifer Swanson
Publisher: National Geographic Kids, 2018
Ages 9-12, Grades 4-6
This new offering by National Geographic Kids is part of the Science SUPERHEROES series. Bethany Ehlmann – aka Dr. E – is a planetary geologist. She studies rock, not only from Earth but from the other planets in our solar system.
This could be a bit of a heavy topic. However, Dr. E has approached it in a way that will interest young readers. Some sample chapter titles include Our Cosmic Neighbors, Planets, Frozen Worlds, Volcano Worlds, and Craters. Each chapter is introduced with a comic before Dr. E dives into the denser material. And even that is handled in a clear and understandable manner.
The book is packed with cool facts. Learn why dust – stardust, in particular – is so important (pg. 28). Find out why poor little Pluto got a demotion (pg. 23). Learn which planet may have diamond rain (pg. 99). And if you believe that a crater is just a big hole, check out pages 88-89. And if this is a topic that interests you/your child, see page 87 to learn how you can become a planetary mapper.
The photos in this book are enough of a reason to purchase it. We can view the surface of many of the planets. There are also close-ups of specific features, like the dunes on Titan, windblown sand ripples on Mars, or the northern polar ice cap on Mars. Absolutely beautiful!
And at the risk of sounding like a corny infomercial, if that’s not enough there are experiments to try. One of these activities explains how Earth moves on its axis. Another activity helps construct a star viewer. And in another one readers learn how to create a convection current. Although some of these experiments do need adult supervision or help, most are not overly complicated and don’t need unusual materials.
While this book is interesting to read, it would also make a great classroom resource. A+ all the way!
Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.