Peachy Books Graphic showing a rocket ship flying into outerspace with a purple coloured galaxy in the background and a planet with surrounding stars, with a text box below it in purple with yellow and orange letters that says: Visit the Peachy Books Review for the Who HQ Series Title: Where is Our Solar System? Today!
book reviews, Middle Grade, Sciences

Book Review: Where Is Our Solar System? by Stephanie Sabol

Book Cover for Where is Our Solar System? from the Who HQ series

Where Is Our Solar System?

Stephanie Sabol, illustrated by Ted Hammond

Children across the globe love to learn about the solar system. I’m in my 40s, yet I can remember doing my first oral presentation, standing up at the front of the class and nervously sputtering out the names of the colourful orbs I’d so carefully cut from construction paper and displayed on flimsy poster board.

With technology being what it is, kids have it too easy these days! How often do they even do a physical presentation, given the habits being adapted through COVID virtual learning? With the choice available to him, my son excitedly opts for online slide projects as opposed to the cutting, pasting, and printing required for a tangible design.

Never mind research trips to the library for facts and content – which I loved – this lad only needs to do a simple web search and he’s met with endless pages of info to draw from; easy, peasy!

Where is Our Solar System? is not only a fun and interesting read, it would have been the perfect resource for doing a project back in the olden days. This one book would give you all the interesting data you needed for any middle grade project.

Historically speaking, we are taught about how the sky helped ancient people with navigating their ships based on the alignment of the stars, how the ancients told time with the position of the sun, and how they would organise planting schedules based on the moon’s phases for better yields at harvest.

We learn how planets were first discovered through the naked eye of early stargazers, and how the curiosity of early Greek scientists led to the study of astronomy. Visit the Mythology of the Solar System post in The Gallery to learn more about how Roman and Greek mythology inspired the names of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

There are sections devoted to describing the planets and their sizes comparatively to Earth that I found enlightening, although my little space lover was quick to inform me, “You’re just late to the party, Mummy!’

We both learned a fascinating fact about Jupiter: its famous red spot is a storm that has been raging for over 340 years!

A Peachy Books graphic showing the red spot on Jupiter that says, The Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter, 22∘ South of the Equator, which has lasted at least 340 years.

And did you know that our moon is just a piece of Earth that was broken off from the planet after being hit by a very large object? 

Giant Impact Hypothesis diagram
Giant Impact hypothesis that resulted in our moon forming

To the thrill of my son, special attention was also paid to the planet Mars, and the Curiosity Rover that landed there in 2012.  

Image of the Mars Rover Curiosity in 2012
Mars rover Curiosity which touched down on August 5th, 2012

Learning is made easy as the informative diagrams and pictures throughout are not only eye-catching, but help to explain some of the concepts visually for little ones. For example, a basketball court is used to describe the Earth’s distance from the sun, the Earth’s axis, and the resulting season changes around the globe.

Minor mention of UFOs, and aliens, are part of the recount, as well as major innovations in space exploration like the Hubble Telescope, and the ISS are there to be explored.

Picture of the Hubble Telescope with the Earth in the background
The Hubble Telescope that was launched in 1990

Lest we forget why it all began, we are informed of the space race that spurred JFK to extensively fund space research, with the goal to beat the Russian Cosmonauts in putting the first man on the moon!

We really enjoyed reading this one from Who HQ, and this novice learned a tonne of new things since my early years when I was fascinated by our solar system. I’ve rounded up to 4.5 peaches for my rating, so make sure to share this educational book with your budding astronomer, they won’t be disappointed!

Here is the shooting star bookmark I was inspired to make when reading Where Is Our Solar System?

Shooting Star crochet bookmark being displayed on the first pages of the book Destination Moon.

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