This inventive picture book upends the indignation of Pluto’s defenders with a simple story. “For as long as the solar system has been the solar system,” the icy little world we call Pluto has enjoyed dancing with its moons and spinning on its side in a tilted orbit. He was not happy when Percival Lowell announced the discovery of a ninth planet, a “GREAT BIG ONE,” though he did approve of the choice of Pluto as his name. He knew he was different from the planets, and he always wanted to be identified with his friends in the Kuiper belt. When astronomers finally declared him to be a “dwarf planet” or a “Kuiper belt object,” his reaction was “BINGO!” Created with ink, watercolors, and colored pencils, cheerful artwork illustrates the text. The back matter features well-captioned photos and straightforward information. Written by two curators at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, this picture book offers a fresh, positive perspective on Pluto, showing that its change of status is not a demotion but a correction. Grades 1-4. --Carolyn Phelan
Praise for Pluto's Secret "Pairing a lighthearted narrative in a hand-lettered-style typeface with informally drawn cartoon illustrations, this lively tale of astronomical revelations begins with the search for Planet X." Kirkus Reviews "This picture book offers a fresh, positive perspective on Pluto, showing that its change of status is not a demotion but a correction." Booklist "Light-hearted imagining of a gregarious Pluto." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Fun reading... The book provides a factual history of our faraway 'dwarf,' and on its companion icy worlds, and on the discovery of Kuiper-like bands around other stars." School Library Journal Award New York Public Library's annual Children's Books list: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013.
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