In Extreme Planets Q&A
Check out cool Smithsonian websites and exhibits throughout the book
Meet a Smithsonian Specialist
See fabulous close-up photos
Read extremely fun facts about planets
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Grade 2–4—Carson asks 20 planet-related questions, such as, "Why is Mars called the Red Planet?" and "What's a Kuiper Belt Object?" and answers each with a paragraph or two of basic, clearly presented information. Each Q & A also features a URL for a related Smithsonian or other authoritative site, and these are sturdily supplemented by annotated lists of Web and print resources. Aside from two inexact statements on the first spread (no, planets are not quite spherical and yes, large space objects do occasionally cross their orbits—just look what happened, probably, to the dinosaurs), the author won't lead readers astray, and a brief closing interview with a working astronomer adds a valuable human element to the content. This book doesn't quite live up to the title's hype, but it presents some unusual facts, and the big, colorful space photos and digital art provide plenty of visual interest to draw browsers.—John Peters, New York Public Library
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