A Planet Is a Poem

Kids Can. May 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781525304422.
Gr 3-5–A combined exploration of poetry and our solar system, this book covers both with an eye to detail. A brief overview of planets and poetry begins the narrative. The poems cover the solar system from planets to belts, and what lies beyond. Each poem is on a gatefold atop a spread. Under the gatefold is a rectangle with a couple of paragraphs sharing facts about the poem’s topic. On the back of the poem page, a circle contains an explanation of the type of poetry used. The illustrations are in bright hues with collage-style drawings. For example, Jupiter is shown against a blue background with a rocket heading towards it. The text of the concrete poem, “Jupiter the Giant,” is written on the exterior of the planet in different colors: “The Giant Red Spot is shrinking, tearing off, vanishing, into spinning clouds.” The fact rectangle tells Jupiter’s place in and impact on the creation of our solar system. Fourteen different types of poetry feature the sun through the Kuiper Belt, with a mention of the mysterious potential Planet X. The final illustration shows the full solar system. Lewis ends the book by encouraging readers to write poems based on Planet X. A glossary and resources are provided.
VERDICT This combination of poems and planets is a fun way to introduce readers to both. An excellent purchase, though the full-page gatefolds may limit shelf life.

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