From School Library Journal
Grade 2–3—Rocco's gentle caricatures and visual gags further brighten this wry follow-up to the author's Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!
(Dutton, 2005). Showing how widely held preconceptions about nature are slowly, stumblingly tested by scientific study, Kudlinski traces our view of the universe from flat earth to the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet.Effectively giving readers the big picture first, she places most of the significant specific terms and names in a time line at the end, and in the main narrative focuses on concepts: "A new idea came to an astronomer. He said that the sun was in the center of the [solar] system, not the Earth. That would mean that we were not so important. He had no proof, so most people just laughed…." Though itself a little "wrong" as Pluto and its more distant mates have very recently been RE-reclassified as "Plutoids," this breezy account will be as equally effective in demonstrating how science works as it will be in bringing young readers up to speed on the structure of this and other solar systems.—John Peters, New York Public Library
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The opening page to this lighthearted science picture book shows a ship sailing off the edge of the ocean; the next shows a vast spread of our galaxy, with Earth a tiny dot in the corner. The disconnect between reality and these two images is explained by the history of humankind’s often wrongheaded notions about the cosmos. Major players in this drama such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton pop up here, but only as unnamed astronomers or scientists who provided great leaps of thought contrary to the prevailing wisdom of their times. Cartoonish illustrations range from ancient Greeks studying the moon to a board of white-coated eggheads deciding no on the question of Pluto’s planetary identity (much to the dejected orb’s dismay). Young readers will come away with a rudimentary knowledge of our relationship with the universe, but, more importantly, they’ll learn that even today much of what we know about the solar system could be wrong. A brisk, cheerful introduction to the mixed-up history of cosmology. Grades 1-3. --Ian Chipman