Reviews for Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet.

by Curtis Manley

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A young girl looks out her window, pondering the universe. A subsequent family trip to the planetarium gives her a lot to think about.Are we alone in the universe? Are there other "Goldilocks planets" out there capable of sustaining life, planets that are "not too hot and not too cold, not too big and not too small, not too soft and not too hard" but "just right"? Older adult readers might hear the voice of Carl Sagan in the narrative, an authoritative, planetarium-movie voice explaining the universe with a focus on "exoplanets," planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system. Kids may imagine Neal DeGrasse Tyson. Woven through the text are the twin narratives of the girl and her family's visit to the planetarium and its "Searching for Exoplanets" exhibition. The illustrations, suffused with glowing light, are dynamically varied, including a colorful double-page spread of the Milky Way galaxy, panels carrying information, fanciful visions of other worlds, and an all-black spread with just one stark sentence in white: "Or maybe it's like nothing we can even imagine." Lanan effectively balances the girl's visual narrative with the heavier scientific exposition of the text. The girl, who has exuberantly kinky hair, and her family present black; other planetarium guests are a diverse group. Thorough backmatter includes books, websites, astronomy clubs, and various websites for further exploration.An attractive and informative volume for young stargazers. (Informational picture book. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Manley presents a smart, careful, and thorough discussion of exoplanets. Lanan's illustrations take the concepts to the next level; the choices of scale, color, and detail in her planetary landscapes make visible the text's content. The clever use of a parallel visual narrative, which features a (brown-skinned) girl and her family visiting a planetarium, situates the images of possible other life-supporting worlds in that character's imagination. Timeline, websites. Bib. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.