Pluto is pretty upset. He's gotten kicked out of the big league of planets, and now he's just a dwarf planet, out in the Kuiper belt. Even his moon, Charon, can't comfort him. Pluto wants answers! Fortunately, they're at a museum and with a little research they're going to get those answers. Or are they?
Roman's colorful cartoons, presented in comic panels, take readers through multiple scientific changes, from the earth being demoted from center of the universe to the controversy over apatosaurus vs. brontosaurus. As Pluto and Charon travel through the museum's exhibits, they learn about how scientists learn new things over the ages, update their findings, and discover new things about the universe, including space. When Pluto discovers he has a sister dwarf planet - Eris - he decides that maybe scientists - and the world - think he's special after all, even if he isn't a big planet.
Extensive back matter explains in depth about the history of scientific research into the solar system, dinosaurs, germs, why scientists study rocks, and more. There is also a glossary, further reading, and websites. Bonus points for the depiction of scientists of different races and genders! Check out the author's website for a reader's theater activity for the book, a great choice for homeschool or small classroom use!
Verdict: This is so much more than just a graphic picture book about Pluto - it's a simple but fun introduction to how scientists learn new things and the importance of asking questions. Hand to teachers introducing astronomy, museums, or research, to kids who are interested in planets, and to young readers looking for simple graphic novels.
ISBN: 9781633224612; Published June 2018 by Seagrass Press/Quarto Group; Review copy provided by the author; Donated to the library