If Pluto Was a Pea – written by Gabrielle Prendergast, illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings

 If Pluto Was a Pea – written by Gabrielle Prendergast, illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781534404359, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? This book is very simple, sweet, and educational in just the right ways. A black girl and a white boy spend the night camping in their backyard and exploring outer space through comparisons. Each page introduces another part of our solar system and gives its size in a related context compared to Pluto being the size of a pea. For example, Earth would be the size of a golf ball. The size of each item is also included. (The pea is 0.64 cm or 0.25 inches, the golf ball is 3.52 cm or 1.4 inches). The pictures give clues about the upcoming planet sizes. I can see having younger kids spot the beach ball on a blanket in the background and guessing which planet might be the size of a beach ball (Jupiter). The illustrations are relatively simple and fun, pairing well with the story. I also love the last sentence: “And YOU would be much, much smaller than that. But still not too small to think big thoughts and do great things.” 

Anything you did not like about the book. Nope!

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be great for young kids who are curious and always asking questions. It would also be a great book for teachers of older students to read when learning about the solar system, possibly when introducing how to create a diagram to scale for students. I could also see this being a fun way for students to figure out scaling sizes in math class since all of the sizes for items are included in the book. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public school librarians, possibly preschool teachers/librarians

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction (500s)

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: Sept. 21, 2019


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