Sleepy Solar System (Dr. John Hutton)


Hello, friends! Today, we read Sleepy Solar System, written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Doug Cenko, an astronomical bedtime story that takes us on a journey through the solar system.

It’s been a very busy day in the Milky Way, and Sun tells everyone that it’s time for bed. One by one, the planets tuck in for bed. Mercury has been spinning at a dizzying pace, and is ready for a rest. Mother Earth has on her blue-and-green jammies, with white clouds up in curlers. Uranus reads a story, and teeny Pluto asks for one more hug and kiss. Then all the planets settle in for a good night’s sleep.

This one left me with mixed feelings. For every bit that I liked, there was also something that was disappointing. Among the pluses, this is a very different take on the bedtime story, and filled with some great information about the plants in our solar system. The illustrations are exceedingly cute, and filled with great details. However, the rhyme scheme of the text was very inconsistent, which made it difficult to find a rhythm when reading aloud. And while the length was fine for a bedtime story, JJ wasn’t as excited about this one as she tends to be. I should also mention that other reviews have pointed out minor scientific errors, but that’s best left to reader discretion; most of the inaccuracies are fairly trifling, considering the entire premise of the book is scientifically impossible (how can an entire planet have “night” at once?) and meant in good fun, rather than purely educational. Overall, this was a neat introduction to the planets for little astronomers, but ultimately lackluster. Still, the original concept and adorable art alone is enough for us to call this one Baby Bookworm approved!

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