Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System: Massive Mountains! Supersize Storms! Alien Atmospheres!

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Space exploration has been exciting since that day in 1969 when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. Today it’s even more exciting, especially when it is told in comic book format by a female superhero who calls herself Dr. E.

Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System: Massive Mountains, Supersize Storms, Alien Adventures, by planetary geologist, Dr. Bethany Ehlmann, has something for space lovers of all ages. Readers learn about our cosmic neighbors — systems in our own Milky Way galaxy with stars and planets that orbit them. There is Kepler 11, a sun that has six planets larger than earth orbiting around it; and the TRAPPIST-1, a newly-discovered system that has 11 earth-sized planets orbiting around.

There is a cartoon-ized section called “Dwarf Planets, Meteors, Asteroids and Planets; an up-close-and-personel section about Mercury, Venus, and what it’s like to spend a day on Mars; and even a section on what it would be like to take a walk on Jupiter.

This book explores frozen worlds, rocky planets, snow geysers on distant planets, and massive Mars volcanoes. There are fun sections on the constellations, studying the night sky, and NASA’S plan for future space research.

This beautifully illustrated book definitely has something for everyone. The cartoon capers of Dr. E will amuse children, and the eye-popping illustrations that are Nat Geo’s signature style will wow young adults and older readers, too. Readers of all ages learn about “the inhabitable zone” in outer space, that comets are considered “dirty snowballs,” and that you could possibly get rich if you could figure out how to collect the diamond chunks that float around Saturn.

One quibble: the concept and vocabulary are far more advanced than early elementary or even upper elementary students may be able to handle. In other words, this book may be better suited for upper middle grade and young adults.

Nevertheless, this book can be used to spark imagination about the life of an astronaut and what it’s like to travel through space. It should also be great supplemental reading for science and astronomy classes.

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