A Tour of the Planets. O.

Berger, Melvin. A Tour of the Planets. O. 1994.

Kids interested in the solar system will be interested in this book, although outside knowledge will have outstripped what’s in it.  This book predates the naming of Pluto as a dwarf planet and the discovery of the Oort cloud of dwarf planets and comets beyond it.

Outer space, nonfiction, planets, solar system, o

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Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy. K.

Yolen, Jane. Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy. K. 1986.

Commander Toad and his loyal crew of amphibians must rescue his cousin, the famous spy Tip Toad, from a spy training planet—if they can figure out which spy is really Tip Toad! The goofy spies and their funny schemes and scenarios are quite funny, but many of the pop-culture puns are very dated (Laugh-In, anyone?) and will go far over heads.

TAGS: Fiction, science fiction, outer space, aliens, spies, commander toad, puns, funny, k

Strange Creatures. O.

Cartwright, Pauline. Strange Creatures. O. 1999.

Tarek and Zimm of the starship Astra have crashed on a strange planet with poisonous flowers and helpful, telepathic two-legged badgers.  This book is part of a series, but does not mention the fact on the outside; some of the story may seem non-sequitur-ish without knowledge of who the characters are and how they relate to each other. Fairly simple language (and very simple structure) for a level O book, aside from some jargon outer space/science fiction terms. Chapters are 4-6 pages long.

TAGS: fiction, chapter, science fiction, outer space, aliens, O

Transportation through Time. P.

Hammonds, Heather. Transportation through Time. P. 2003.

The histories of ships, carriages, cars, trains, balloons, dirigibles, airplanes, spaceships and more are detailed with pictures and question prompts. Yellow bolded words go to a glossary in the back. “Imagine…” question prompts can be poorly worded and confusing to kids (like implying there were no cars before 2003!).

TAGS: Nonfiction, history, cars, horses, airplanes, moon, outer space, trains, ships, P

Out in Space! G?

INFO: Berger, Melvin. Out in Space! G?. 1995.

DESC: This early-level non-fiction is a great and non-intimidating general overview of the many elements comprising “space.” It introduces kiddos to rockets, the planets of our solar system, and even gives a short glimpse beyond the galaxy! Some students may freak out about the specialized vocabulary – just focus on “telling” names and new words (like “andromeda” or “nebula”) and challenge the students to take on the rest. Once they get the planet names down, students will find this a rewarding read – and one that they’re very proud of.

TAGS: space, outer space, planets, moons, galaxies, rockets, science, nonfiction

Space Ant Goes Home. H.

INFO: Warren, Celia. Space Ant Goes Home. H?. 2000.

DESC: This computer-illustrated, levelled book is definitely a bizarre read. It stars a “space ant” who is exploring other planets, and meets a number of mixed-up creatures – like “Tigeroo” and “Elebird”; and then they go to a Purple Planet, which turns out to be Space Ant’s home! Other than these elements, the book has little coherence of plot, and really was not the best to read with students – it’s a little too “out there” to make much sense; but nice try! Some students, though, might find it funny; or could suggest their own re-writes!

TAGS: aliens, outer space, home, mixed-up animals, space-ships, space travel