A Peachy Books graphic showing a thorn crown and a diagram of the planets revolving around the sun, on a sand coloured background, that says What Did Jesus and Galileo Have in Common? in brown lettering.
Blog Roll, book reviews, Kids Books, Middle Grade, non-fiction, Sciences

What Did Jesus and Galileo Have In Common?

One might think that the Father of modern science would bear no commonality with the Father of Christianity (son when in the flesh), but there were similarities. 

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a city in Galilee, and Galileo’s last name was Galilei. Ok, maybe that one is a coincidence. More to the point, both were courageous enough to challenge previously held beliefs about the universe, and both were (at best) misunderstood and punished for their messages. Galileo lived the last of his days under house arrest, and Jesus perished on the cross.

Whether a Christian, a follower of science, or a believer in both, one must admit that history shows how people have rejected change and are unwilling to accept new ideas, beliefs, or innovations.

How is it that we remain unaccepting with thousands of years of separation and drastically different lives? Fear of the unknown is a timeless contributing factor, to be sure, yet I am inclined to believe it is the voices at the top that lead the charge who have the most influence over what is allowed as truth. 

No matter what point in history, there has always been a narrative elicited by those in the power positions, who seek to keep things as they are and as they can control. The proletariat, continually the victims of the prevailing propaganda du jour via politicians and other governmental authorities. By design, the controlling force directs the thoughts of the masses, inert in their apathy, as they are either too comfortable or too afraid to ask questions, myself included.

A people divided are a people easily controlled. Polarisation being the continually viable schtick used by the puppet masters to obfuscate what they benefit from behind, and off, the backs of the citizenry.

The time to question everything is now, like never before. The mechanisms to assist those at the top when manipulating our minds are perfectly manifest in the modern technologies of AI, social media, and the internet at large.

I do not expect change, as this has been the way since time immemorial, but I also cannot help but feel that given the current technologies mentioned, we have the power to turn some of this on its face.

It feels like we are at a fork in the road. If we could only band the people together, we could use the technology that they are so skillfully using against us, to unify and defend against their divide and conquer. 

Am I a dreamer? Probably. But I prefer dreaming big over accepting a scripted nightmare designed to keep me hating my fellow man. I have never been one to roll over and play dead, no matter how impossible things seem, so with something as important as our children’s future as a driving force, I sure as hell am not going to start now. 

There is always common ground to be found, even when belief systems and world views appear to be opposed. You must, however, be willing to look.

Below you will find my reviews for the two Who HQ series volumes detailing the very different, yet sometimes similar, Jesus and Galileo. 

Book cover for Who Was Galileo? by Patricia Brennan Demuth showing a bobble-headed Galileo holding on to a telescope on top of a roof, with a globe sitting beside him.

Who Was Galileo? was the Who HQ book that sparked my, and my son’s, love of this informative and fun series. We were so excited to try out one of these slim, non-fiction paperbacks with the amusing bobblehead covers when searching the library’s website.

We highly enjoyed the rudimentary summary of Galileo’s experiments and discoveries and were deeply frustrated by all that he had to deal with when battling the Inquisition in Rome.

Galileo’s defence of the belief originally put forth by the mathematician Copernicus – that the planets, including Earth, orbited around the sun – was contradictory to the teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and everything else orbited it. 

The Catholic Church, at that time, saw the denial of Aristotle’s beliefs to be heresy, and as such Galileo became disgraced and was banished to house arrest for the last eight years of his life. 

Eventually, in 1992, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his despair over the church having persecuted Galileo and his later proven scientific assertions. Too little too late, as they say, but a nod to science and truth, nonetheless.

After enjoying its concise information and the black and white sketches adorned throughout, I decided to take a peek and see if there were any more books in the series available at my favourite discount bookstore. As it turned out, there was a whole slew of these little historical gems just waiting for me, and we now have a big pile to draw from, so stay tuned for our thoughts. 

Book cover for Who Was Jesus? from the Who HQ series, written by Ellen Morgan showing an illustration of Jesus standing by the waters edge with a basket of fish, and fisherman on a boat out in the water.

After being absorbed by the book Who Was Galileo? a couple of weeks ago, my son and I immediately placed an order for a tonne more of the series. I may have gone a little crazy, but they were a good deal, so… Each book offers an escape into the life of a fascinating figure, but after sifting halfway through the pile the lad selected Who Was Jesus? as our first.

My husband and son are of Greek descent, and all of us are baptised Greek Orthodox, so stories about Jesus are not new to our reading rotation. Although not extensive, the timeline gave an appropriate and complete picture of Jesus’ story for my 8-year-olds intellect.

We learned about: Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, his disciples, the miracles he administered, his enemies, his Crucifixion, the Gospels, and symbols of the Christian faith. We also enjoyed the section that detailed how Jesus was represented in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Again, I was impressed by the breadth of information provided in such a slim book. The sketches add a richness to the narrative that will keep readers riveted. I am sure most of you have read these already, and I am just late, but if you have not yet, get into them, you won’t be disappointed!


Today’s post is bought to you by the Beatles! Please stop and enjoy this musical interlude to brighten up your busy day. 😉

Graphic for the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud for Chapters 1 and 2 of George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl showing the book cover with George mixing up his bubbling brown medicine.
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Storytime

Storytime Sunday: George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl ~ Chapters 1 & 2

Book Cover for Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine, showing George mixing up his bubbling brown concoction.

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 & 2 of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.

George has the misfortune of being charged with caring for his beastly Grandma while his Mother is out at the shops.

Will the intimated George find his revenge for her wicked ways when it’s time to dose out her daily medicine?

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

To hear the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, click here.

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Take a peek at my Read-a-Loud collection on YouTube if you prefer to listen.

Graphic for the Peachy Books Book Review Read-a-Loud by written and read by PeachyTO for The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, showing a 1930s Carnegie Hall in the background
Blog Roll, Historical Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Saturday in Stereo

Saturday in Stereo – Book Review Read-a-Loud: The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

This week on Saturday in Stereo we have the Peachy Books review for The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, read aloud by PeachyTO.

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube channel or click on the video below to check it out. If you enjoy the reading, I’d be thrilled if you would ‘like,’ subscribe, and hit the notification bell; it will help my channel to grow, and you’ll be the first to know when the latest read-a-louds are available. Thank you so much for your support!

To find the written review for The Good Thieves and see the Rimsky Crow bookmark I was inspired to make, please click here.

Graphic showing acrobats performing: Book Review The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
Blog Roll, book reviews, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Book Review: The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

Book cover for The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, depicting a huge a canoe filled with four children, in a lake before a large castle, with a backdrop of a starry sky.

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

“But it’s not always sensible to be sensible.”

Katherine Rundell, The good Thieves

Historical fiction is one of my top genres, so I was eager to read this book set in depression-era New York City with my Li’l Peach. Just like mum, the budding bookworm is a lover of history. We had only ever read non-fiction books about the past, so this was an exciting read that introduced him to a beloved genre.

At the commencement of this fast-paced story, Vita and her mother had just traversed the ocean from England to assist her ailing grandfather. Her mother was hopeful that with the clearing up of his financial affairs, he would return to the UK with them in the coming weeks. The loose ends would take a little more work to clear up than anyone had imagined, least of all Vita.

The frail man defeatedly admitted that for a mere two hundred dollars, the equivalent of three thousand today, he had been scammed out of ownership of the historic family castle by a bulldozing, real-estate mogul. Although her grandfather seemed resigned to this fact and his inability to do anything about it, Vita had other plans.

If she could get into the castle and dig out some abandoned treasure, they would use the proceeds from the sale of the gem to get a fancy lawyer and set things straight. This lofty goal would seem all the more difficult to achieve given her apparent limitations: the painful and maldeveloped foot she acquired from her battle with Polio years earlier and her ignorance about the big city that she now must expertly navigate.

Possible impediments aside, our fearless heroine ventures out on her own to do a recognisance mission when she ends up crossing paths with my favourite character of the book. Silk, a homeless young teen, rough around the edges and tough-as-nails, is a hustling pick-pocket, the perfect match for the courageous Vita. As fate would have it, she also befriends Samuel and Arkady – performers in a travelling circus running temporarily at Carnegie Hall, just across the way from where her grandfather lives. Together they form a tattered yet tenacious crew of ‘good thieves,’ and the story jets off from there.

Bravery, ability, and determination are the guiding forces for this talented gang of kids as they seek to defeat the scoundrel Sorratore as he stealthily attempts to snatch up historic properties across New York City. Thanks to their diverse skillset: Samuel the acrobat, Arkady the animal whisperer, Silk the street hustler, and Vita with the expert aim – a skill she picked up when she was a small child, under the tutelage of her now infirm grandfather – a tightly-woven plan was all they would need to succeed.

The all-important red notebook held the path to victory as Vita prepared every step needed for things to come together. Unfortunately for them, they met much friction along the way. Vita is an admirable role model for young readers, as her organisational skills and strong leadership are matched only by her grit to fight through the discomfort and pain of her mission.

There were teachable moments throughout the story, as themes of family, friendship, loyalty, racism, crime, and dishonesty are in abundance. Visually evocative scenes play out as Rundell transports us through the bustle of Manhattan, the landscapes of suburban New York, and the majesty of the decaying castle.

Quote from The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell with a circus back drop and the shadow of two acrobats hanging from the top: "Racism can't be cured by black excellence when it's caused by white ignorance."

Endearing characters, an exciting plot, appropriate pacing, and sheer enjoyment have me rating this middle-grade fiction gem 4.5 peaches and adding Rundell’s other popular offering, Rooftoppers, to my list without delay.

Have you or your little ones read The Good Thieves or Rooftoppers, and if so, what did you think?

Here is the bookmark I was inspired to make whilst reading this fun novel.

Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Storytime

Peachy Books | Storytime Sunday | Read-a-Loud: James and the Giant Peach, Chapters 1 & 2 – by Roald Dahl

Book Cover for James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl showing a small James in the bottom left corner, staring up at a giant peach taking up the majority of the cover

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 & 2 of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

Poor James must live with his beastly aunts after the tragic loss of his parents, who had the misfortune of being eaten up by an escaped rhinoceros from The London Zoo!

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

Advertisement for the Peachy Books review of Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
Blog Roll, book reviews, Middle Grade

Book Review: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

Summer at the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast with his estranged grandmother was not what David (aka Scrub) had in mind for his summer. There was the basketball team to practice for and his best friend to do dares with, yet he was shipped off so his parents could focus on their work. But that was nothing new for Scrub, as they did this to him most summers, sending him many places over his childhood years.

When he arrives, Scrub encounters a strange towering fellow in front of his grandma’s B & B, and it is quickly apparent that things will be anything but boring this summer after all. Mr. Harnox might be the unlucky guest of the inn but proves to be a killer on the basketball court, as Scrub is fortunate to find out. 

As fate would have it, Amy, a bubbly lover of all things alien, happens upon Scrub around town, and they become fast friends. She knows of his grandma’s place and is eager to learn more, which could make it difficult for him to keep the secret of what’s going on within its walls. It won’t be any more difficult than staying off the radar of her father: Sheriff Tate. 

David’s grandmother entrusting him with secrets and responsibility offers him a new sense of confidence, and even as he tests the limits of what he has been charged to do, by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion, his ingenuity and ability take centre stage. 

Clete Barrett Smith is a creative and thoughtful writer. This middle-grade story offers quirky, richly drawn characters, and I had a blast narrating their different voices to my howling 7-year-old son. You can listen to an excerpt I posted for Storytime Sunday last month here

There are important lessons to be learned while the themes of family, friendship, responsibility, and acceptance fill the pages. If was fun to watch the whole thing come together at the end, although I wasn’t at all sure how that would be until it was upon us. We were also thrilled to see this was the first in the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast Series, when stumbling upon the first chapter of the second volume, Alien on a Rampage, in the back of the book. We were sure to add it to our library queue post haste! 

Below you’ll find Zarnox, the alien bookmark I was inspired to design after meeting all the extraterrestrial travellers in Aliens on Vacation. This cutie was lucky enough to holiday in our backyard here in sunny Canada, and I can tell you, more fun has never been had this side of the Milky Way! 

Blog Roll, book reviews, Middle Grade, non-fiction

Book Review: Who Was P.T. Barnum? by Kirsten Anderson

Book Cover for Who Was P.T. Barnum? written by Kristen Anderson and part of the Who HQ Series

Who Was P.T. Barnum? by Kirsten Anderson, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi

I wonder how many people have been to a circus. I was excited about reading this one, as I’ve never been. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Circuses weren’t around much when I was a kid, and they were pricey compared to carnivals. I’d been to a few fairs in small towns, and loved the travelling amusement park that would set up all of its rickety rides and RVs for a week, once a year, in the local mall’s parking lot. You could revel in the rigged games and attractions, without having to spend an arm and a leg. When I imagine a circus, it seems like it would be a mashup of The Zoo and one of these carnival-type places, resulting in the parading around of animals (and humans), with a dressing of swindle.

Before there was Barnum and Bailey’s Circus, there was P.T. Barnum, informally called ‘Taylor.’ Who Was P.T. Barnum? affords us a look into the life of ‘The Great American Showman,’ as he was widely known – and likely named himself. Inheriting more than just his grandfather Phineas’ name, from a young age Taylor shared in his namesake’s trickster sense of humour, and fierce entrepreneurial spirit. He started his journey into business by selling refreshments in town and saved up the proceeds to purchase livestock at the age of 21. And so it went until he had a general store, sold lottery tickets, and even owned a politically focused newspaper named The Herald of Freedom.

Quote from P.T. Barnum: "If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out before you and take the prize." with a yellow and red striped background to mimic a circus tent

As one of the original purveyors of fake news and media manipulation, Taylor had a penchant for advertising and knew how to drum up excitement for any idea he wanted to sell, whether it was based in reality or contrived. When a customer at his store tipped him off to a lucrative opportunity, it ignited what would be a lifelong endeavour into the exploitation of humans and animals alike, an undertaking that was all the more successful due to his talents of persuasion.

P.T. Barnum quote: "Without promotion, something terrible happens...nothing!" on a red and yellow striped background, to mimic a circus tent.

The impetus for this path was a woman named Joice Heth. Taylor was eager to ‘rent’ the enslaved, weak, and blind woman, who regaled audiences with songs and stories where she claimed to be 161-years old, and the former nanny of George Washington. He booked a theatre, advertised her amazing story all over the city, and wrote rave reviews for the show. With the exhibit’s newfound success, Taylor sent Heth on tour in New England, until her eventual death in 1836.

Newspaper advertisement for Barnum's first live exhibit, showcasing a 161-year old woman named Joice Heth
Newspaper Advertising the Joice Heth Show

Taylor had promised a curious doctor wanting to investigate her age, the rights to an autopsy of the miraculous woman. The merciless showman continued to profit from Heth’s death as he did her life, producing a public autopsy, which he thirstily charged admission to. It was proven that she was likely no more than 80 years old. Even though there was talk that Taylor had altered documents to assist with his trifling claims throughout the show’s run, he maintained that he knew nothing of her real age, and presented himself as shocked as anyone, when the news came out.

He made a handsome sum from these shenanigans, and off the back of Joice Heth, but more importantly to him, Taylor learned how a human exhibit could provide for his pocketbook. With this new model of entertainment being en vogue, from here he expanded to open The American Museum, which he eventually took on the road as the P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome, before venturing under the big top in his 60s.

This HQ Series Biography explores some of Taylor’s more popular exhibits such as the Bearded Lady, General Tom Thumb, and the highly deceptive Feejee Mermaid attraction. We learn how Taylor would move on to politics and write an autobiography that, like all of his ventures, he adeptly marketed producing mammoth sales. He even spent time doing seminars, where he promoted his self-help book entitled: The Art of Money Getting. If this is sounding a little Trumpian to you, you’re not alone.

An image of the encased Feejee Mermaid, with a sign reading: P.T. Barnum's 'Fiji Mermaid' on loan from [sic] Boston Museum

Overall, this middle-grade history book provides a lot of fascinating details about the inventive and highly ambitious Taylor, even if it chooses to leave out some of his more unappealing attributes. The beautiful sketches throughout are the perfect accompaniment to his story and shine a spotlight on the whimsy of his special brand of entertainment. Regardless of all this, I will hold back and rate this one 3.5/5 peaches, in reverence to authenticity, or the lack thereof.

Have a look at the crochet circus tent bookmark that I was inspired to make from reading Who Is P.T. Barnum?

Crochet Bookmark of a red and yellow striped circus tent with a yellow flag on top
Image advertising the Where Is The Eiffel Tower Book review by Peachy Books with a crochet bookmark of the Tricolore Flag
book reviews, Middle Grade, non-fiction

Book Review: Where is the Eiffel Tower? by Dina Anastasio

Book Cover for Where Is the Eiffel Tower? by Dina Anastasio, from the Who HQ Series.

Where is the Eiffel Tower? by Dina Anastasio, illustrated by Tim Foley

March 31, 1889, marked a triumphant day for France, as the ‘Tricolore,’ blue, white, and red flag was displayed atop the newly erected, bold, and beautiful Eiffel Tower, an astounding 934 feet in the air. This marvel of artistry and architecture would, at that time, hold the title of the world’s tallest structure. Gustave Eiffel was properly impressed by his tower and its distinct beauty, but its critics, however – and there were many – called it a ‘monstrosity,’ a ‘giant ugly smokestack.’

Gustave wasn’t the only one who appreciated this modern wonder, as others reveled in its great size and uniqueness, but unfortunately, there were also a great many who questioned what the iron thing even was. Some French people were so put off by it that they wrote letters to the editor protesting the tower. France was a country patterned with gorgeous, old stone buildings and historical monuments, and the new tower’s detractors felt it just didn’t fit in. Little did they know that the Eiffel Tower would go on to become one of the most famous landmarks in the world!

Image of the Eiffel Tower with a beautiful blue and cloudy sky as the backdrop
Eiffel Tower

Where Is the Eiffel Tower? is another installment of the lovely Who HQ series of books, that we have grown to love so much in my household. As an avid history buff at the ripe old age of seven, my son really appreciates this wonderful series, as do I. Among many other fascinating details about the Eiffel Tower and the European French Republic, this book shares with us the details of Gustave’s early life and his ascent into an engineer and inventive businessman.

As a clever young boy, he found himself bored by school, and his grades reflected his disinterest. With his parents owning a successful coal transporting company, he would much prefer to watch the ships loading and unloading coal at the canal port in Dijon, France. Eventually, he met the right teachers who helped him foster an appreciation for literature, history, and science, and his grades soared. It was at college that Gustave met his first true love: metal.

Gustave’s fondness for this revolutionary building material came with an abundance of curiosity, as he began to investigate how he could bend, shape, and use the element innovatively. After enrolling in engineering school, and working as an unpaid apprentice at his brother-in-law’s iron foundry to learn all he could, he went on to open his own company, the Société des Établissements Eiffel. His team consisted of engineers, architects, and designers, and from 1879 to 1883 they would work on their most famous project to that date, creating the metal framework inside the USA’s Statue of Liberty.

Photo depicting the Inner framework of the Statue of Liberty as constructed by Gustave Eiffels company
Inner Framework of the Statue of Liberty

After adding such an important element to the fabric of American society, Gustave went on to produce a structure equally as majestic for his homeland. The Eiffel Tower was introduced to the French people and the world, by providing the entry point to the Exposition Universelle, an internationally celebrated fair held in Paris that year, which hosted exhibits from all over the world. Some 61,000 exhibitors displayed products, artwork, and held performances of dance, music, and theatre. A few of the more popular American offerings were Thomas Edison’s electric lights, and tin-foil phonograph, Alexander Graham Bell’s line of telephones, and a Wild West show put on by Buffalo Bill.

The abundantly successful fair went on for three months, and after its completion, Paris officials called to have the Eiffel Tower removed. At once clever and determined, Gustave Eiffel was narrowly able to keep his tower a part of the city’s skyline. Where is the Eiffel Tower? lays out for us how his resourceful mind was able to save one of the world’s most iconic structures for millions of tourists and dilettantes to continue to enjoy more than a century later.

Not unlike other volumes in the Who HQ series, this informative book treats us to detailed sketches that depict the various buildings and sites discussed within, which helped to give this reader a well-rounded and visually enhanced perspective. The lattice ironwork and creative details that are a part of the Eiffel Tower’s construction were stunning.

Enjoy a short video of historical images of the tower:

Eiffel Tower Construction 1887-1889 Paris Photos by mycompasstv on YouTube

Take a look at the ‘Tricolore’ flag bookmark I was inclined to make upon reading Where is the Eiffel Tower? I think it makes an excellent addition to our growing collection!

So if architecture and history are your (peach) jam, and your littles love non-fiction books as much as my lad does, be sure to pick this one up, as you’re all sure to learn something, and have a great time doing so!

Peachy Books Storytime Saturday Cover for Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
Blog Roll, Middle Grade, Storytime

Peachy Books | Storytime Sunday | Read-a-Loud: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

Image of Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith with a blue alien crochet bookmark

Welcome to Peachy Books Storytime Sunday!

To hear the reading for Chapter 2 of Aliens on Vacation, by Clete Barrett Smith, please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel or click on the video below.

To read the review for Aliens on Vacation please click here.

My son and I are really enjoying the wacky adventures that our hero David (aka Scrub), is faced with at The Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast! The aliens within this engaging tale are so inspiring that I decided to make my own little alien, Zarnox, to vacation at our house, whilst we make our way through this hilarious story.

Take a look at these fun action shots of Zarnox having a blast in our backyard. It’s our favourite place to be, and it looks like this little cutie is fitting right in.

Enjoyed by children and parents alike, Clete Barrett Smith is an amazing author that is not to be missed. So don’t hesitate to get Aliens on Vacation, as well as the other books from this fabulous series, to share with your family today!

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.