Gift Guide

The Planets

( 3 )


Best-selling author-illustrator Gail Gibbons explores our solar system's planets in this completely revised, simultaneous paperback edition.

Our solar system is a fascinating place. The planets in it, named in ancient times after Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, are very different from each other in size, shape, orbit, and even weather. An update of Gail Gibbons's popular first two editions, this third edition clearly explains basic ...
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Best-selling author-illustrator Gail Gibbons explores our solar system's planets in this completely revised, simultaneous paperback edition.

Our solar system is a fascinating place. The planets in it, named in ancient times after Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, are very different from each other in size, shape, orbit, and even weather. An update of Gail Gibbons's popular first two editions, this third edition clearly explains basic information about each planet in our solar system as well as the many new discoveries that have come to light in recent years, such as Pluto's new designation as a dwarf planet.

Discusses the movements, location, and characteristics of the nine known planets of our solar system.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The word planet comes from the Greek word for wanderer. That is because the Greeks noticed that there were some "stars" in the sky that move around in the star patterns, or constellations. These objects were not stars at all, but planets. Six planets were visible with the naked eye and discovered by ancient astronomers before the invention of the telescope. In the last 200 years three more planets have been discovered. Each of the nine planets circles around the sun. A year is the amount of time it takes for a planet to move around the sun. A day is the amount of time it takes for a planet to revolve on its axis. Every planet's day and year is unique to that planet. Did you know that Venus's day is longer than its year? Saturn's day is only 11 hours long, but its year is 30 Earth years long. Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are gas giants. They are made up mostly of gases. They all rotate faster than the Earth despite being much, much larger. Nevertheless, their years are much, much longer. Neptune's year is 164 Earth years. The planets are fun to study and most kids find them fascinating. 2005 (orig. 1993), Holiday House, Ages 5 to 8.
—Kristin Harris
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
An excellent first look at such planet basics as distance from the sun, length of day and year in earth terms, and natural satellites. Ms. Gibbons explains planetary motion, and provides facts in a way that brings them into a child's world with illustrations that are informative and entertaining.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The clear informative text and appealing illustrations are sure to keep the attention of young readers. They will be drawn in by the pictures of two kids who, along with their parents and friendly looking pooch, are looking up at the stars and planets. Then the readers will find much to learn, beginning with the fact that "The word planet comes from the Greek work meaning ‘wanderer." The difference between a planet and a star is explained and the number of known planets in our solar system is given. The facts about each planet are presented individually and in a manner easy for readers to grasp, and each planet is shown in illustration. The solar system is also illustrated and the need for a telescope to see some of the planets is explained. Additional information about all the planets is given at the back of the book. This is an excellent aid to young students in understanding the solar system and the planets. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

In an inexcusably superficial update of the 2005 edition, Gibbons revises her text minimally and leaves the art untouched. Along with leaving her mention of the 2004 Mars Exploration Rover Mission still illustrated only with a view of a '70s-era Viking Lander, she lets Pluto continue to sail along the peripheries of the planetary maps-in an incorrect orbit to boot-and gives it an entire spread. Furthermore, though she properly notes that Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet, Ceres, which was upgraded at the same time to the same status, gets nary a mention. Despite some intriguing facts ("On Venus, a day is longer than a year, and a year is shorter than a day") and that familiar, instantly recognizable look, this outing has less to offer fledgling readers than such other recent tours as Seymour Simon's Our Solar System (HarperCollins, 2007).-John Peters, New York Public Library

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Aside from minor editorial changes, updated numbers for the moons of the gas giant planets, a rewritten comment about Pluto, and an added line about 2004's Mars Exploration Rover, this title is identical in text and pictures to the 1993 edition. It remains an essential primer on the topic, and should be purchased for all collections in need of fresh copies-but there is not enough new material to warrant wholesale replacement of the previous version.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Gibbons uses brief declarative sentences to describe the sun and each planet of the solar system in succession, introducing concepts such as a day, a year, orbit, and rotation. Her paintings sometimes tread the edge of oversimplicity; in a demonstration of day and night, there is almost no contrast between the planet's light and dark sides, and though she mentions in the text that Pluto is currently closer to the sun than Neptune, their orbits do not cross in the illustrations. Still, the bright colors, simplified shapes, and spacious, uncomplicated page design make this an inviting gateway to the subject. The book closes with an introduction to astronomy, creating a natural transition to the author's Stargazers (Holiday, 1992).-John Peters, New York Public Library
Carolyn Phelan
Similar in format to her other books, this is Gibbons' introduction to the planets. Well designed and laid out, the pages feature appealing full-color illustrations of stargazers, astronomers, the solar system, and individual planets. Less satisfying is the accompanying text, which lacks focus and clarity. Still, given the popularity of Gibbons' work with teachers and kids and the growing demand for beginning books on astronomy, many libraries will find this a useful purchase.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421565
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 601,626
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Gibbons has written and illustrated more than fifty titles with Holiday House. She has always been fascinated by nature and loves exploring and revisiting ideas for children's books. Before creating children's books, she worked for NBC television. She lives in Corinth, Vermont, and her website is
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Great for my four year old!

    My four year old son was learning about the solar system in school and came home asking questions about the planets. We went to the library and found an older hard cover edition of this book (which had a sticker with a revision about the "downgrade" of Pluto to a dwarf planet). After returning it to the library, we went to Barnes and Noble to buy some books about the planets and found this newer paperback edition, which my son HAD to have. In addition to the very reasonable price, the content and writing are perfect for my son. My husband and I also learned some facts from this book. And it's not too long and in depth for my son's limited attention span. It holds my son's interest every time we read it and, believe me we've been reading it everyday for several months. We love this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted May 22, 2011

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