Stacey McAnulty has caused me great stress. I cannot decide which of her books I liked best in the Our Universe series. Was it Ocean! Waves for All? Or was it Our Planet! There’s No Place Like Earth? Or even Earth! My First 4.54 billion Years (the first in the series)? Or the Sun! One in a Billion? Or even Mars! Earthlings Welcome.
Each one is a lovely, funny, and educational way to learn about the planets, stars and more. Each subject tells their own story in their own unique way. Of course, the tone of each story is similar as each narrator thinks they are the hottest, coolest, most awesome there is. And rightly so. And of course, this is because McAnulty is the real narrator as it would be hard to conduct interviews with smoking hot Sun or terribly chilly Mars. And how does one interview the planet they are literally standing on? (Sorry, Earth, but thanks for the support!)
The Ocean might come off a little bit too Surfer Dude (they say Dude. A lot.) and Sun a bit of a hot head (not really, but seriously, they are hot temperatured), but everyone really is very lovely and accommodating. Earth so much they have two books about them (though of course, there is a lot of awesomeness on Earth to cover). Except for the sun and Mars, conservation as well as the immediate facts of the subject, is a big theme with each book. All ages can enjoy but would work for the young “sitting and listening crowd” to about first or young second grade.
David Litchfield and Stevie Lewis both are illustrators of the series. The characters are bubbly and friendly. The colors are boldly colored and busy with details but not crowded. The humor of the text comes out but is also serious with the facts. They are the character of the story and allow the text a nice place to sit and be read. Afterwards are included in each picture sized book. They range from more facts to more direct interviews with the subjects. There are also notes from McAnulty themselves.
The only disappointment I have is I have yet to find the book about Earths best friend aptly named, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend.