February 02, 2018

#BookTour: Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System by @bethanyehlmann Jennifer Swanson @NGKids and @NGKidsBks #Giveaway via @EndyOchita

Buy: Amazon

Take to the skies with planetary geologist Dr. E and her robot sidekick, Rover, to explore the solar system's wildest, most astronomical geology--with comic book flair!

This stellar book introduces kids to outer space through in-depth info and comic book adventure. Along the way, kids follow explorer Bethany Ehlmann, a member of the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity mission, and her lovable robo-dog, Rover, as they study and protect our amazing solar system. Dr. E's conversational and funny explanations of the solar system and planetary geology will pull kids in like gravity. The pairing of fun, graphic novel side stories with science facts makes big concepts accessible and interesting to boys and girls of all levels, from STEM science fans to reluctant readers alike.

Follow Bethany: Website | Twitter

Follow NG Kids Books: Website | Facebook | Twitter

About the Authors: Dr. Bethany Ehlmann is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a
participating scientist on the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity mission, a research scientist at JPL, and an assistant professor of planetary science at CalTech. She has studied compositional analysis of planetary surfaces, environmental change on Mars, chemical and physical weathering processes on planets, habitability, rock-microbe interactions, early Earth surface environments, and space policy. Ehlmann has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Geological Sciences from Brown University, an M.S. in both Geography and Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford (where she was a Rhodes Scholar), and a B.A. in both Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Before obtaining her current position at Caltech/JPL, she was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Paris.

Jennifer Swanson is an award-winning author and science superfan. Her books for children and young adults have been selected for the National Science Teachers Association's Best STEM Books and recommended reviews from School Librarians Workshop, Library Media Connection, and School Library Journal, among others.

About National Geographic Children's Books: National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, website, apps, games, toys, television series and events and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. National Geographic Kids (10 issues per year) and Little Kids (6 issues per year) are photo-driven publications and are available on newsstands or by subscription in print and on tablets. The award-winning website kids.nationalgeographic.com excites kids about the planet through games, videos, contests, photos, quizzes, and blogs about cultures, animals and destinations. National Geographic Kids Books publishes as many as 100 nonfiction titles each year and teaches the youngest readers why the world is a weird, fascinating and fun place. National Geographic Kids Entertainment brings the renowned National Geographic brand to quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven television, home video and online programming.

Welcome to Day #5 of Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System by Dr. Bethany Ehlmann with Jennifer Swanson on January 30th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Bethany and National Geographic Kids Books Senior Editor Shelby Alinsky, plus 5 chances to win a copy of Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System!

Exciting the Scientists, Engineers, and Explorers of the Future
by Dr. Bethany Ehlmann

“Space and dinosaurs.” These are often cited as the gateways to science for elementary school children. Not Newton’s Laws, chemical formulas, or species of plants.

Why these two topics? They are accessible to teachers and students alike to communicate what is best about science. Too often, science can be reduced to memorization or exercises of balancing or solving equations. These skills are 100% important. But as these skills are learned, it is important to also show that that’s not all there is and to keep an eye on the big picture of what science is all about.

I wrote Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System because I wanted to communicate the fun that we planetary scientists have. Space still is a frontier where we are often surprised by the new and unexpected. When we send a spacecraft, what we find sometimes does not match our preconceived expectations. This prods us to push our understanding of chemistry, physics, and history to explain what we observe.

There are three things I tried to infuse in the book because I think they are some of the best reasons to become a scientist or engineer. (Applicable to space, also to dinosaurs, as well as other fields ;))

A Sense of Wonder (and Fun): Sometimes, we take an image or analyze a dataset and just step back and say “Wow”. Dr. E is filled with some of the best and most recent images and findings from planetary missions. One beautiful, unexpected example is plumes of water, emanating from cracks in the ice shell of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, exposing its ocean to space. Other “wows” come from more careful parsing of scientific data, explained here in a way to communicate to young learners. It rains water on Earth. Yet it can rain diamonds on the gas giant planets of our solar system. That’s because the heat and pressure of their thick atmospheres are high enough to form these precious stones. It would be fun to be like my sidekick Rover, holding up an umbrella in a diamond shower! I hope that child and adult readers come away with the wonder and fun of our solar system.

Pursuit of the Unknown: Rather than present solely facts and figures, we also communicate terra incognita, the “here there be dragons” on the map, areas where our knowledge is absent and so new explorers—likely someday some of the children reading this book—must solve the puzzles. An example is the story of the Kuiper Belt. We don’t necessarily know what we thought we did 20 years ago. Pluto was demoted as a planet because over a dozen objects just like Pluto were found with more still being discovered as telescopes get more sensitive. So it was either make the category “dwarf planet” to describe these tiny worlds or double the number of planets. The other hot topic at the time of this writing was the search for Planet Nine, a large massive body predicted based on some unexpected motions in the bodies of the Kuiper Belt. Is it there? Approximate location and size have been predicted, but over a vast area of space. It might take a Dr. E-reader-turned-astronomy-student to find it! Through this example and others, I wanted to communicate to readers that science is not settled: there is so much more to discover and Dr. E readers can grow up to make the next discoveries.

The Challenge: “We go to the Moon and do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” I couldn’t agree more with John F. Kennedy’s assessment: Space exploration pushes our technologies to the limit and then makes us push beyond those limits to achieve what we want. It is a fundamental driver of innovation. There are many challenges on Earth in education, healthcare, transport. We can and should address these. But there is an audacious challenge in stepping off our planet, together in teams, to explore. As Bill Nye says, space exploration brings out the best in us as we push the limits of the possible. The Dr. E book describes how we land rovers on Mars, measure chemistry when we can’t yet touch the object we want to study, and also talks about the mission concepts of the future being considered by NASA and other exploration agencies. Some of the Dr. E readers will grow up to be the scientists and engineers who turn these into reality.

Dr. E is designed to appeal in different ways. Whether it’s following the comic book adventure of Dr. E and Rover, gazing at the images of other worlds, or devouring the factoids and figures about the solar system, the book is geared to children with multiple learning styles. We also include a suite of current planetary scientists with their bios. It’s a small enough community that all of them are my colleagues. Men and women, from all backgrounds and ethnicities working together to solve the mysteries of the solar system. May the scientist bios of the future be of the young Dr. E readers.

- For more on science resources for kids, check out National Geographic’s Kids site-For more on Curiosity’s exploration check out JPL’s mission website or for more on exploring Mars-like spots on Earth, check out Ehlmann’s National Geographic blog from Iceland or the Rhodes Project for more on the path to being a planetary scientist


Blog Tour Schedule:

January 29th – A Dream Within A Dream
January 30th — Word Spelunking
January 31st — Living Simply
February 1st  — Cracking the Cover
February 2nd — Crossroad Reviews

5 Star Review: 
This book was amazing to read!  I had a fun time getting to know things about the solar system that I didn't know and I had fun talking to this with my little sister and we had a blast looking through all the pictures and the information.  If you are looking for a great book for school to learn things about the solar system then check this book out! 


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System
  • US only
To enter the giveaway please follow the following accounts! 


And comment below with the planet you would want to visit! 

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

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