Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotMercury is a very hot planet and is twice as close to the sun as Earth. It is also the smallest planet. Due to its orbit and location, Mercury rises and sets on Earth within about two hours of sunrise and sunset. The planet’s surface is pockmarked, which scientists believe has been caused by objects such as asteroids crashing into the surface. There is no weather or atmosphere on Mercuryit faces a constant solar wind. If you could stand on its surface, the sun would look twice as large as it does to us on Earth. Galileo became the first to observe Mercury through a telescope. Because of its proximity to the sun, the Hubble Telescope cannot observe Mercury because this would destroy sensitive equipment. The books in this “New True Books: Space” series about the planets and Earth’s moon offer an enticing format. The first page challenges readers to find out which of two statements is true. There is an arrow that contains the text: “Find the answers in this book.” To help young readers appreciate the format of more substantial books for older readers, this one contains a content spread that lists each chapter heading followed by an intriguing question. There are also references to the back matter containing true statistics, resources, important words, an index and a brief blurb about the author. As with other books in the series there is an interesting timeline relating to the study of this planet. The answer to the question posed at the beginning of the book follows the “True Statistics” section and even the back cover contains some interesting information. The book’s generous full color photographs and illustrations help easily explain the facts. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot; Ages 8 to 10.
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