ASTRONUTS MISSION THREE: THE PERFECT PLANET, by Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg, Chronicle Books, Sept. 21, 2021, Hardcover, $14.99 (ages 8-12
The AstroNuts set out on a final mission to find a planet fit for human life in Jon Scieszka’s AstroNuts Mission Three: The Perfect Planet.
Time is up for our friends the AstroNuts. In fact, time is up for you, too. If they don’t succeed on this mission, Earth is doomed! So when the team finds out they’re being sent to a place called “the perfect planet,” their mission sounds way too easy. Unfortunately, the second they land, they realize they’ll be dealing with the most dangerous species of all time . . . humans. Huh? Where in the universe is this supposedly perfect place? And how will the Nuts manage to convince the humans to risk death . . . for the sake of their lives?! —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
I have to say, the AstroNuts series is not something I would have picked up as a young reader. In fact, when the first book hit my doorstep, I wasn’t sure how to even review it. But my then-5-year-old saw it and begged me for it. It was too old for her, but she was drawn to the artwork, and a few months later, she was reading it on her own.
Her reaction made me realize that while I may know some of the books she’ll enjoy, I don’t know them all. And it’s important to give kids the option to explore all their reading interests.
The AstroNuts series, in particular, is very visual. All of the books feature full-color illustrations throughout. Illustrator Steven Weinberg bases his collage-type art on public domain pieces from the Smithsonian Museum. And author Jon Scieszka utilizes word bubbles and text boxes that quickly move the story forward and feel accessible to readers if all levels.
My daughter took ownership of AstroNuts Mission Three: The Perfect Planet as soon as it arrived. This is what she had to say about it:
“I was excited to learn there was another book. It also the last book of the series, which makes me feel sad, because I want to see more adventures. I like their adventures because they’re always exciting, weird, and especially cool. Also, AstroWolf is crazy talk in this book.”
The AstroNuts series is a good option for fans of Dog Man, Big Nate, Wimpy Kid, and Captain Underpants, as well as visual learners, reluctant readers, and those who just want to go on an adventure.
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