Sunday, March 18, 2012

Picture Books (Science): Planet Series (by L. L. Owens)

A Child’sWorld has an impressive series of non-fiction books on the planets in the solar system called Space Neighbors.    Each planet, and the sun, has a book devoted to it.   I reviewed 3 books in the series:  Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto and Other Dwarf Planets

Author L.L.Owens begins each book by placing the planet in the night sky.  Key vocabulary words are in bold, such as solar system, orbit, and telescope.  Next, a sweeping two-page layout displays all of the planets in relation to the sun and each other.  In the left-bottom corner, Fun Facts are provided that include distance from sun, size, planet number, and facts unique to the planet.   The follow pages include large, bold pictures of the plant and information about the speed of rotation and revolution, surface, atmosphere, temperature, exploration, and much more. 

Owens uses simple text (second grade reading level) which makes this series fantastic for children in the primary grades (1-4).  She offers context for many of the facts with child-oriented comparisons, like the distance around Mercury’s middle is “longer than 100 million hot dogs placed end to end” or the shape of the planet is “more like a football than a baseball.”  Some of the core information about the definitions of rotation, revolution, and the solar system are reviewed in each book.  The books include a glossary of important terms to build science vocabulary. 

The illustrations and photographs are eye-catching.   The planets are viewed from different angles and distances, extending the written text.  Other photographs and illustrations are included to round out the fascinating facts presented to the young readers.  I recommend the Space Neighbor series for ages 6-10. 

I created a Pinterest board of some amazing ideas on the web to teach about the solar system.  

This post is linked up at Momto2PoshDivas for Sunday Showcase and Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.


  1. The illustrations in the book look great! Sometimes I find that nonfiction for early readers is just too busy. Looks like there is a good balance in this one. I'll have to check it out.

  2. I agree that sometimes they get too busy. This series has a nice layout. I hope you enjoy. :)

  3. That is a great layout for the pages, and the illustrations are wonderful.

    Seeing all of these astronomy posts people have been putting up really makes me want to study astronomy now with my kids, but I KNOW they don't want to do that right now.


    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!


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