How To Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto

How to Teach Grown-Ups about Pluto
Dean Regas, illustrated by Aaron Blecha
Britannica Books

If you’ve ever wondered why Pluto lost its status as a planet over fifteen years ago, then here’s a book for you. It’s written in an amusing child-friendly style by astronomer, TV presenter and more, Dean Regas, and illustrated with suitably funky, blue tinged, cartoon style art by Aaron Blecha.
Having briefly introduced himself and the work of an astronomer, in his tongue in cheek style, the author explores the contentious case of Pluto and its demotion from being one of the nine primary planets in our solar system, thus losing its status as a full-blown ‘planet’. This was something even he initially found hard to accept.

Before that though we read of Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto; how an eleven year old girl came to name it. But then comes it’s downfall – not literally of course. ‘so small, so far away, so alone, so off-kilter and so cold’ was it that ‘people rallied to defend Pluto against anyone who wanted to take away its planethood, … Never before had the public embraced such an inanimate space object as their underdog’, says Regas.

He then ingeniously goes on to explain how the constantly developing nature of space science means that many youngsters’ knowledge of our solar system is likely to be more accurate than that of lots of grown-ups. Having read this book such youngsters will be able to tell any doubting adults that Pluto is a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and one of five dwarf planets. They’ll be able to introduce them to Sedna too, as Regas does to readers herein.

So cool and utterly brilliant. If this book doesn’t get youngsters interested in astronomy then I might have to eat my own copy, timeline and all.

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