Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotNeptune cannot be seen with the naked eyeit is the coldest and darkest planet in the solar system. Its orbit is almost circular. It is a large planet with 17 times the mass of Earth. One very interesting fact is the rotational speed of the planet, which varies from 18 hours at the equator and 12 hours at the poles. The core of this planet is about the size of earth and its atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium and methane. It is the latter that gives the planet its beautiful blue color. It is also a planet that has the most violent weather in the solar system. The planet was not discovered by observation but rather by mathematical calculations. Neptune’s moon, Triton, is quite unusualit is geologically active and it orbits backwards (the opposite direction of Neptune’s orbit). There are currently fourteen moons circling Neptune and it is also a planet with rings. 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 the 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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