Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Curtis Manley, illus. by Jessica Lanan. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-15533-7
Readers join a brown-skinned girl with a polka-dotted backpack as she asks questions about the stars and visits a space museum, where she watches exoplanets careen overhead in a planetarium. In sweeping, inky art, Lanan captures the child’s dawning awareness of the vastness of the universe. Manley’s writing swings gracefully between factual descriptions (“Earth orbits in our solar system’s ‘habitable zone’ ”) and more lyrical observations: “All stars twinkle, but some stars also seem to wink at us... as if saying, ‘I know a secret.’ ” Back home after the museum trip, the child considers the types of life-forms that might be out there. Richly informative prose and intimate yet expansive art show a child’s contagious enthusiasm for the book’s subject. Includes a timeline of astronomical discoveries and suggestions for further reading. Ages 5–9. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2018
Release date: 01/29/2019
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