Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review - If Pluto Was a Pea

If Pluto Was a Pea
by Gabrielle Prendergast
illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings
Date: 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Join two curious kids as they explore their backyard, and contemplate their place within our vast universe in this adorable picture book that’s full of comparisons to help kids understand cosmic size.

If Pluto was a pea…
the Sun would be like a tent,
Mercury would be a marble,
and Earth would be a golf ball.

Pluto is the smallest planet in our solar system, but how small is small? As it turns out, it only takes the contents of a lunchbox and a backyard to find out.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

All right, kids. Repeat after me:

If Pluto were a pea.
If Pluto were a pea.
If Pluto were a pea.

Got it? Good.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the book itself. The premise is actually kind of neat. It's all about comparative sizes. If Pluto were the size of a pea, then the Earth would be the size of a golf ball, Mars would be the size of an acorn, Jupiter would be the size of a beach ball, etc. This is all framed by two kids and their camping trip; each of the objects mentioned is encountered and pictured, along with measurements.

I like the idea. I sort of like the illustrations. But I just can't get past that grammar. It's on pretty much every spread of the book, teaching a new generation of children to avoid the subjunctive verb tense. Pluto can never literally be a pea... and so the correct word here should be "were". If the text simply changed that one word, then this is one book I could wholeheartedly recommend.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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