by John McGranaghan, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

Sylvan Dell Publishing, $16.95, 32 pages

This is no need to wait until spaceships start taking passengers into the galaxy to get up close and personal with the planets. From the comfort of their own living room or classroom, kids can now soar through the solar system and witness the first ever “Favorite Planet Competition,’’ emceed by none other than the former ninth planet, Pluto (now a dwarf planet). John McGranaghan’s Meet the Planets allows young readers to take a journey through space. Learn about the unique qualities of each planet as Pluto introduces them with quirky facts. Readers become the judge after the sun can’t pick a favorite and the meteors leave for a shower. Illustrator Laurie Allen Klein has the planets dressed up, looking their very best for the contest.

Children will spend hours searching the pages for all the references to famous scientists and people of history, space technology, constellations, art, and classic literature. A section “For Creative Minds” encourages readers to poll their families, friends and classmates to determine the community’s favorite planet. Other activities discuss how time, temperature and distance differ on each planet. This humorous and educational book mixes math, science, astronomy and geography. Read to find out who will win the “Favorite Planet Competition!”

Kathryn Franklin