A group of silly alien scientists embarks on a solar system adventure in this second installment of a picture book series.
Seven aliens (including memorable Tim, who frequently announces his own name) take their ship into space, learning about how planets orbit the sun and how a nebula formed the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, and identify each world. The science takes a back seat to the silly in both the rhymes (Mercury’s heat “scorches little buns!” for a bit of fanny humor; Jupiter’s red spot is “like a zit”) and illustrations. The images by Tan (Silly Scientists Take a Tiptoe with the Tadpoles, 2018, etc.) and Aguirre (My Three Sisters/Mis Tres Hermanas, 2018, etc.) feature the scientists wandering on planet surfaces, lounging on beach chairs in space, cuddling in fuzzy parkas, and flying kites in Neptune’s high-speed winds. A few Spanish words are briefly introduced through Tia. (The alien only speaks Spanish but also exclaims, “Aye! Yai! Yai!”) The book is filled with kid-appealing details, though some readers may question the idea that there might have been life on Mars long ago. The highly textured illustrations mix photos, cartoons, and watercolors to eye-catching effect, and the image of the dense-with-life planet Earth, depicted with childlike eyes and expression, is a highlight. Craig’s (Silly Scientists Take a Tiptoe with the Tadpoles, 2018, etc.) always excellent rhymes scan well and combine facts and fun—emphasizing the latter category a bit more than some teachers might appreciate.
Budding scientists should pick up a bevy of entertaining tidbits (and a couple of gross-out gags).