Gr 3-5-Despite some boilerplate passages in the texts, plus the failure, in most cases, to distinguish actual photographs from the many sharply realistic imaginary scenes, these planetary overviews offer appealing next steps for readers of the relevant "True Book" (Children's) primers and their ilk. In Mars, Mercury, and Pluto, Birch positions each planet in relation to the others; identifies the space probes and/or other ways we have gathered information about it; discusses its major physical features, surface conditions, and moons (if any); and closes with a list of tantalizing questions yet to be answered. Stars, which focuses largely on constellations, seems to have wandered in from some other series. And even though the author compensates for the general lack of information about Pluto with an expanded discussion of its moon, the same digitally generated image of a faintly dimpled but otherwise featureless disco ball is used no fewer than 15 times to depict the planet. Despite these bobbles, and even though some of the information (particularly in Mars) is already dated-unavoidable, and compensated for by brief but helpful lists of Web sites in each book-these make worthwhile supplementary choices for collections supporting strong early science programs.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.