Solar System Forecast

Front Cover
Sylvan Dell Pub., 2012 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 32 pages
1 Review
Below-freezing temperatures, scorching heat, and

storms bigger than planet Earth are just some of the

wild weather you will encounter on your trip through

the solar system! Get your fun facts along with your

forecast for each major planet, as well as a moon

(Titan) and a dwarf planet (Pluto). Get ready for some

out of this world fun with Solar System Forecast!This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 41-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Solar System Forecast is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The enhanced ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

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Kelly Kizer Whitt’s Solar System Forecast is a fun ‘out of this world’ read that appropriately targets her intended audience of 4-9 year-olds.
Ms. Whitt has a natural flair when it comes to
subliminally injecting learning via an adventurous space travel reading experience. She guides the reader on a journey of celestial travel and teaches the young reader about our solar system. Each page is devoted to a particular planet and to captivate the reader, she explains the uniqueness of each planet by outlining a weather report that is characteristic of the planet she has devoted the page to. Prior to take off, she provides a welcome message to her little reader ‘space explorer’. The narrator assumes the role of weatherman and instructs the young reader to sit back and enjoy the ride. She plants her first of a series of educational messages by describing the varied climates and conditions they will encounter along the way: ‘…This is your weatherman with today’s solar system forecast: hot, cold, windy, calm, rainy, dry, cloudy, clear, and everything in between!...’
I found this book to be captivating on two points: 1) Ms. Whitt has provided just enough detail with age appropriate dialect which makes the story understandable for her young audience; and 2) Laurie Allen Klein’s illustrations have a beautiful balance of warmth together with eye-catching vibrancy to hold a child’s interest throughout the entire story. With this formula, they have successfully collaborated in developing an engaging story while achieving the intent: to educate their readership.
As the story nears its end, Ms. Whitt prepares her space travelers for the end of their voyage and leaves them with a lasting memory of the journey. The book, however, does not end on this note. Ms. Whitt reserved the final few pages for an educational section that recaps what her audience has just experienced with age appropriate learning activities. She poses questions that prompt the reader to engage in discussion toward what they learned which is critical for this particular age group. There is no question toward the concept that reading is a learned behavior. If the work is framed in a light of enjoyment and plants a seed of a pleasant learning experience, it is inevitable the child will want to come back for more of the same. The paring of Ms. Whitt’s words and Ms. Klein’s illustrations is a winning combination for Solar System Forecast.
Quill Says: Looking forward to the next adventure!
(Reviewed by Diane Lunsford for Feathered Quill Book Reviews)
 

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About the author (2012)

Kelly Kizer Whitt has been an admirer of the universe since childhood. From the dark skies of her hometown of Sauk City, Wisconsin, she would gaze at the stars and wonder what was beyond them. Kelly majored in English and studied Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college she spent three years in Nashville with her husband, Jeremy, before moving to the Milwaukee area. In 1998 she landed her dream job at Astronomy magazine, where she worked as copy editor, photo editor, and assistant editor. Kelly wrote the terrestrial planets section of The Collins Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space, published in 2001. She writes about space for the websites Suite101.com and AstronomyToday.com. She also has a weekly stargazing blog for the Sierra Club online. Besides writing about space, Kelly published a romance novel on Kindle in 2011 titled The Gathering Storm. Kelly's hobbies include visiting the national parks, creating crossword puzzles, and reading. Kelly lives in Sussex, Wisconsin, with Jeremy, her son Kaden, her daughter Lucy, and their cat Perseus, named for the constellation.

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