Pluto Gets the Call

Adam Rex, illus. by Laurie Keller. Beach Lane, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1453-2
Mid-conversation with the reader (“So, not to brag, but I’m mostly made of nitrogen”), Pluto picks up the phone. “Some scientists from Earth,” seen arguing on the title page (“NO WAY! I’m not calling him”), have disappointing news for the former planet. Devastated and wearing his heart on his surface, he goes on a tour of the solar system to commiserate about his demotion to an ice dwarf. Along the way, Rex (Why?) provides lighthearted tidbits about asteroids, plutoids, and planets as Pluto introduces readers to everyone from “gassy” Neptune (“I’m not being mean, he just is”) all the way to the smallest (“And, dare I say, the cutest?”) planet, Mercury. Keller (Potato Pants!)—who knows her way around misunderstood inanimate objects—sets a silly mood with emoji-like mixed-media collages of lively planets who break the fourth wall to joke with the reader. Easily navigable, panel-less comics introduce an upbeat Saturn, a grouchy Jupiter (“Stop staring at my red spot!”), and a reassuring sun who reminds Pluto that he’s a beloved entity, no matter his status. Dynamic galactic characters and the tongue-in-cheek astronomy lesson should amuse. Ages 3–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/22/2019
Release date: 09/24/2019
Genre: Children's
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