An introduction to the solar system in charts, graphics, and comparisons.
The heavily stylized graphics sow more confusion than insight from the beginning, which is a planetary lineup in which Uranus is depicted as smaller than Mars and one of two versions of Earth as the size of Jupiter. Throughout, the visuals are a mix of images that are not to scale, confusingly marked, or just filler—like the 10 solid dots intended to represent Jupiter’s 9.8-hour rotation that show no change other than a nearly imperceptible shift from pale peach to light orange. With like obscurity, the accompanying captions deliver such factoids as “The Solar System is shaped like an egg,” and Mars “is approximately 6 times smaller than Earth.” The co-published Weather Infographics does no better: the average temperature of lightning (20,000 C) is visualized as an arbitrary 100 tiny ovens (four of which are inexplicably printed in red); and a sample weather forecast is a set of dim, tiny icons on a cellphone, only one of which is identified. Both volumes close with poorly designed science activities (“At night time, go outside and look for three bright stars that are almost in a straight line”).
The approach has promise, but there’s not enough focus on accuracy to carry the payload. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)