The creators of If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon (2019) chronicle a far more venturesome outing.
Bursting up from Earth, wrapped in gold foil (real) and a huge grin (fictive), the New Horizons probe sets out for distant Pluto to answer questions ranging from “What color [is] its sky?” to “[Are] there gross creepy-crawly things?” Along her weary way, she learns that Pluto gets downgraded to a dwarf planet (“Well, this stung a bit”), but after getting a gravity assist from “ginormous” Jupiter and falling into a long, long semisleep, the probe at last wakes up, focuses her cameras, and “on July 14, 2015, Pluto suddenly became a place.” A place, Lapin notes in her generous payload of scientific observations and findings, with not one but five moons, a huge heart-shaped glacier of frozen nitrogen, and just maybe an un-frozen subsurface ocean suitable for harboring life. But Pluto is only the beginning for the plucky probe, as she has continued on her multibillion-mile course past the strangely shaped Kuiper belt object Arrokoth (sky in the Powhatan tongue) in 2019 and is still barreling along her astronomical track to worlds beyond. (Stay tuned for further developments.) Small inset photos and graphics add helpful views of orbits, several more dwarf planets, and other details. With just one exception, all the Earthbound scientists following the expedition present White. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 75% of actual size.)
An epic, energetic flight into the dimmer reaches of our local astronomical neighborhood. (timeline, glossary, bibliography, websites) (Informational picture book. 6-8)