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My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids Paperback – June 16, 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 11,743 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A delightful book, beautifully illustrated, that explains our solar system to kids in words they can understand. It offers some great analogies―for example, comparing the size of the Moon to that of a tennis ball to the size of the Earth as a little bigger than a basketball. The author has a Ph.D. in planetary science but can write at a level that is very accessible to kids.” ―Dr Rosaly M.C. Lopes, Senior Research Scientist at JPL and author of several books on volcanoes and planetary science

“Great exploration of the solar system! The vocabulary is defined clearly to make comprehension a breeze. Bright, colorful pictures engage the reader. Relatable comparisons help to make the content understandable. This is the 4th book I have read by this author, and I am always impressed at how well he speaks to kids without speaking down to them. I wish I’d had this book when my kids were writing their solar system reports when they were in the 3rd grade. I can’t wait for my students to get their hands on this!” ―Kathy Proctor, 2nd grade teacher

“Here’s the perfect book for introducing preschoolers and slightly older kids to the wonders of our solar system. The language is perfect for curious young scientists like my four-year-old grandson. The text is seasoned with many of the author’s trademark Random Space Facts, while the mix of beautiful astrophotography and artists’ drawings make My First Book of Planets a visual delight.” ―Mat Kaplan, Host and Producer of Planetary Radio

About the Author

Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist and children’s book author. He is the chief scientist and LightSail program manager for The Planetary Society. He has a BS and an MS from Stanford and a Planetary Science PhD from Caltech. He managed planetary instrument development programs at NASA headquarters.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rockridge Press (June 16, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 68 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1646118367
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1646118366
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD570L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.9 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 11,743 ratings

About the author

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Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist who loves teaching people about planets, space, and the night sky in fun and entertaining ways. He has lots of college degrees, lots of big dogs, and two sons. Read on to learn more about his background and where to find him on social media and the Internet.

Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist, science communicator and educator, and manager. He is the Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager for the world’s largest space interest group, The Planetary Society. He has a B.S. (Physics and Math) and an M.S. (Applied Physics, emphasis Astronomy) from Stanford and a Ph.D. (Planetary Science, minor in Geology) from Caltech. His research there and at the Planetary Science Institute focused on infrared studies of planetary surfaces. He managed planetary instrument development programs at NASA Headquarters.

At The Planetary Society, he heads the Science and Technology and the Education and Outreach programs. He has managed several flight hardware projects, and led additional science and outreach projects. He is the Program Manager for the Society’s largest project: the LightSail solar sail spacecraft. He regularly writes for the member magazine The Planetary Report and his blog on planetary.org. His popular twitter feed @RandomSpaceFact and Facebook page (Dr. Bruce Betts) provides easy night sky astronomy and random space facts. His Random Space Fact video series (planetary.org/rsf) provides space facts mixed with humor and graphics. He also hosts the "What's Up?" feature on the weekly Planetary Radio (planetary.org/radio) show (100+ stations, XM/Sirius, podcast). He has been a guest expert on History Channel’s The Universe, is a frequent contributor to Professional Pilot magazine, and has appeared frequently in TV, print, web media, and public lectures. Dr. Betts is an Adjunct Professor with California State University Dominguez Hills and his Introduction to Astronomy and Planetary Science class, featuring lots of pretty space pictures, is available free online (planetary.org/bettsclass). He is an Alumnus Senior Scientist with Planetary Science Institute. His website is randomspacefact.com

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
11,743 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2020
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2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Photos!
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2020
So you know all those crisp, glossy photos you see in the information section? Well, that’s definitely NOT what I got! The photos are all pale and look like I printed them on my home printer while running out of ink. I am so disappointed! I like the text, but without quality photos, it’s useless to me. I am returning.
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143 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A pretty nice book for little space enthusiasts
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2020
I got this book for a 4 year old boy’s birthday - he loves space and everything about planets, comets, asteroids and so on.

I already use National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space which is a great book to teach about space (one chapter at a time) but I wanted a book about all the planets he knows to keep in his room, ready for bedtime reading.

This book is perfect for that. It reviews basic information about planets, there are some comparisons like “Venus looks like the brightest star in the sky” or interesting facts like “the bubbles in soda are the same gas that makes up a lot of atmosphere on Venus”. There is not too much information crammed into it, no space missions or spacecrafts listed.

I only wish the pictures were more vibrant, printed on better paper. They look a little bit bland compared to the books about space that are printed on a sleek, glossy paper.

Oh and it probably would be better if the size and distance comparisons were done in a graphic way, not with numbers. “More than 1300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter” is a bit abstract number for a little kid; a picture of two planets in scale would do a better job.

But those are minor complaints, the book definitely did not disappoint me :)
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43 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020
37 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal book for little astronauts
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2020
We are obsessed with planets. This isn’t meant as a brag but at 2.5yrs my son is very fluent in the solar system. Knows every planets and all dwarf planets. Many many moons of several planets and all sorts of stuff I’d never ever heard of until this phase started up. The Oort Cloud springs to mind haha. Anyway, his face when we opened this book up and dwarf planet Ceres WAS INCLUDED IN ITS CORRECT SPOT!!! Plus his favorite dwarf planet make make!!! It’s a home run. Well written, fun facts, and comprehensive. This will be a part of our collection for a long time. I’ve read it to him at least 25 times in the three days we’ve had it. Great job Dr!
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32 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2020
27 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality book. Find a better printed one
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020
The printing quality is horrible. I’m so sad that a book like this with good content had to produce this way. The bending on the images are real bad..plus some papers are stuck together on the bottom. I’ll purchase the book if/ only it is printed on a better quality paper & with a legit printing company. Whoever was is charge of press-check failed big time.
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24 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
15 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2021
14 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

KAREN T
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap paper, poor quality pics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2020
25 people found this helpful
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Rocko
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality images and graphics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2021
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Rocko
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality images and graphics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2021
Joyless, drab, poor quality images, spoiling quite lovely text. Almost impossible to recognise earth in that image. Am I expected get my 4 year old excited by this?
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22 people found this helpful
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JLH
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world! 🪐
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2020
10 people found this helpful
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david elrick
1.0 out of 5 stars n/a
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2020
13 people found this helpful
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A Hudson
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2021
6 people found this helpful
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