Pluto Gets the Call
by Rex, Adam; Keller, Laurie (ILT)

Just after learning that Earth's scientists no longer consider him a planet, an unhappy Pluto takes a visitor from Earth on a tour of the solar system, sharing facts along the way.

Adam Rex is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. His other books include The True Meaning of Smekday, which was made into the hit animated movie Home; Moonday; and School&;s First Day of School, illustrated by Christian Robinson. He also illustrated the Brixton Brothers series, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Chloe and the Lion, and How This Book Was Made, all by Mac Barnett, and Chu&;s Day, by Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit him at or follow him on Twitter @MrAdamRex.

Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of Do Unto Otters; Arnie, the Doughnut; The Scrambled States of America; and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, among numerous others. She grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, and always loved to draw, paint and write stories. She earned a BFA at Kendall College of Art and Design, then worked at Hallmark as a greeting card illustrator for seven-and-a-half years, until one night she got an idea for a children&;s book. She quit her job, moved to New York City, and soon had published her first book. She loved living in New York, but she has now returned to her home state, where she lives in a little cottage in the woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.

*Starred Review* Poor Pluto! He's expecting a party invitation, but the phone call turns out to be news that he is no longer a planet. Heartbroken, he nevertheless graciously continues his informative tour of the solar system, explaining to readers about his own location in the Kuiper Belt, Uranus' sideways alignment, Saturn's amazing rings, and Mars' collection of robots, among other details. Throughout the tour, the planets engage in witty repartee: Jupiter resents being called gassy; the rocks and comets in the Asteroid Belt don't like being termed garbage; and Earth (home to those mean scientists) is miffed to be skipped entirely. Still, everyone is sensitive to Pluto's downgraded status. Luckily, a visit to the Sun helps Pluto realize that people love him best simply because he was demoted. Told entirely in speech balloons, this is a hybrid fiction-nonfiction title that works. Solar system facts are easily distinguishable from the entertaining chatter, and the anthropomorphized planets are certainly memorable. Keller's colorful, cartoon orbs feature googly eyes and expressive faces that perfectly complement Rex's quirky, sometimes snarky text. Pluto, with his heart (an actual surface feature), is a particularly appealing underdog character. The book is appended with a spread of solar system facts, and kids will clamor to hear Pluto's story and want to know more. Grades K-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Heart (-shaped surface feature) literally broken by its demotion from planet status, Pluto glumly conducts readers on a tour of the solar system. You'd be bummed, too. Angrily rejecting the suggestions of "mean scientists" from Earth that "ice dwarf" or "plutoid" might serve as well ("Would you like to be called humanoid?"), Pluto drifts out of the Kuiper Belt to lead readers past the so-called "real" planets in succession. All sport faces with googly eyes in Keller's bright illustrations, and distinct personalities, too—but also actual physical characteristics ("Neptune is pretty icy. And gassy. I'm not being mean, he just is") that are supplemented by pages of "fun facts" at the end. Having fended off Saturn's flirtation, endured Jupiter's stormy reception ("Keep OFF THE GAS!") and relentless mockery from the asteroids, and given Earth the cold shoulder, Pluto at last takes the sympathetic suggestion of Venus and Mercury to talk to the Sun. "She's pretty bright." A (what else?) warm welcome, plus our local star's comforting reminders that every celestial body is unique (though "people talk about Uranus for reas ons I don't really want to get into"), and anyway, scientists are still arguing the matter because that's what "science" is all about, mend Pluto's heart at last: "Whatever I'm called, I'll always be PLUTO!" Hurray for the underdog. (afterword) (Informational picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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