I really love it when we find a book that matches BookBairn's current interests. But I love it even more when a book inspires a new i...

BookBairn Discovers the Planets

Sunday, April 22, 2018 BookBairn 6 Comments

I really love it when we find a book that matches BookBairn's current interests. But I love it even more when a book inspires a new interest!

And that's just what happened when BookBairn opened 'Ollie Discovers the Planets!' by Anya Acres for the very first time. It fell open at the middle-page spread, which is a striking illustration of the Sun, the eight planets and Pluto. Immediately, she was asking questions about which planet was which, and discussing their colours and sizes and now she likes to say "our planet is the blue and green one" and "we live on the blue and green ball, Mummy". Just in time for Earth Day today!

This book is a wonderful blend of fact and fiction and, quite simply, we've had lots of fun with it. Ollie, the orange alien, goes on an adventure to the brightest star in the sky, the Sun. He leaves his home on Pluto behind and sets off on an adventure across the galaxy to discover the planets. With facts about each planet he passes along the way, Ollie experiences the shivering colds of Nepture and Uranus; admires the rings and moons of Saturn; flies a little too close to the red spot, raging storm on Jupiter' warily passes the volcanoes on Mars; until finally lands on Earth, where he discovers a beautiful world of green and blue! The story blends the facts about the planets with the story about Ollie seamlessly and your little readers will learn all about the planets without even noticing!

The illustrations (by Mary Elizabeth) of Ollie and his little red rocket are adorable and the artwork of the planets very accurate: again, blending the fact with the fiction seamlessly. It's no wonder that the centrefold illustration captured BookBairn's imagination - it is incredibly striking! It truly captures the wonder of our universe.

This is a lovely book to introduce the planets through a story to young readers. Though BookBairn has really taken to it, I would recommend this book for slightly older readers, as the text is a little longer than some of the picture books we usually read. And the content is probably more appealing to children aged 4-8, which is the age group it it intended for. There are also five 'planet puzzles' at the end to extend young readers learning, which you could research together with school aged kids. I know that the author regularly does school workshops too!

This is a great read for Earth Day and I'm so thrilled that it has inspired BookBairn to get into Space!

**Giveaway closed*** Winner was selected by random number generator from all our entries and came from Twitter entries. I’ve messaged the winner. Thanks all for entering.
***We have a copy of this brilliant book to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy of Ollie Discovers the Planets, please comment below. (Additional entries will be available so keep an eye out by following us on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.) UK residents only please. Competition closes 29.4.18.***

Happy Earth Day everyone, our green and blue planet really is a wonder!

Mummy and BookBairn xx

You can find out more about Ollie's adventures here:
https://www.olliediscovers.co.uk/ and keep an eye our for Ollie's next adventures in the Arctic and with the dinosaurs.

Ollie is also available on social media here:

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author for review and this blog post was sponsored by the author.

Check out this cute little Ollie doll too!


  1. The illustrations in this book look lovely. My daughter is really interested in space since she did it at school.

    1. Such a fascinating topic - I loved teaching it at school!

  2. I can’t wait to read this one with BookBairn.

  3. This book looks fantastic. Would love a copy to read to my own children and my reception class