7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #646: Featuring Elizabeth Haidle

h1 July 14th, 2019 by jules


Today, I’ve some illustrations from The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney (Schwartz & Wade, May 2019), written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Elizabeth Haidle (who is also the creative director of Illustoria magazine).

This is the story, set in 1930 in Oxford, England, of (as the book’s sub-title tells you) Venetia Burney, the only child to have named a planet. In the book’s opening spreads, we are invited into her world, as we walk with her and her schoolmates outside in a classroom lesson about the solar system. Venetia and her mother live with her grandfather, a former Oxford library head, and the inquisitive girl loves to tell him all about her lessons. Venetia is fascinated by not only outer space, but also Greek and Roman mythology; she’s intrigued by the links between science and literature. So, when a new planet is discovered . . .

Venetia’s imagination takes off, flying, leaping, connecting the dots from science to story. She knows that this planet, so far from the sun, must be frozen, dark, and lifeless. It would be like the underworld — the underworld ruled in Roman myths by Neptune’s brother, Pluto.


(Click to enlarge cover)


After Venetia’s grandfather shares this idea with his friend, Professor Herbert Hall Turner of the Royal Astronomical Society, the wheels start to turn, and it eventually becomes a reality. This reveal — that her name for the new planet has been formally accepted — comes after correspondence between the girl’s grandfather, the professor, and more. We follow Venetia as she waits to hear word on her suggestion. The moment she learns the news is a triumphant one, the one in which “Venetia is a hero!”

The book fast-forwards through her adult years to just before she turns 89 years old. She visits the Observatory Science Centre in England and, for the first time in her life, views Pluto through a telescope.

Haidle’s eloquent, velvety illustrations, on a muted palette of various shades of blues and grays (from navy to slate and lots of other subdued hues in between), include occasional panels to accelerate the pace. This is a book that captures a child’s joy at not just being heard and respected by the adults around her (something all children deserve), but also a young girl making a name for herself in the very history books. Thrilling. Here are some spreads . . .



“Out of the classroom, down the hallway, and out the door — Venetia Burney and her schoolmates follow their teacher, leaving their British schoolhouse behind. …”
(Click second image to enlarge spread and read the text in its entirety)


“When Venetia and her friends return to the park later with
lumps of clay for the planets, they run, counting paces ….”

(Click to enlarge spread and read the text in its entirety)


“‘It might be called Pluto,’ Venetia says.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


THE GIRL WHO NAMED PLUTO: THE STORY OF VENETIA BURNEY. Text copyright © 2019 by Alice B. McGinty. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Elizabeth Haidle and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Schwartz & Wade Books, New York.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) My daughters and their kick-ass friends.

2) Finally getting my copy of Margaret Renkl’s Late Migrations (with art by Billy Renkl). Can’t wait to start it.

3) Having friends over for brunch.

4) Breakfast tacos.

5) I’ll be presenting this week about the year’s best picture books for the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at The University of Tennessee, and I’m looking forward to it.

6) My youngest daughter is teaching herself on piano the theme song to the television adaptation of Good Omens.



7) Dark. (Little Willow, we just decided to re-watch season one, even though recaps exist, so we’re almost ready for season two.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

8 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #646: Featuring Elizabeth Haidle”

  1. I love stories like The Girl Who Named Pluto. Cant wait to share
    And Jules, I placed a hold on Late Migration.
    My kicks:
    1. Reading on the deck.
    2. Lunch with friends.
    3. Dinner with friends.
    4. Writing day.
    5. Marionberry jam making.
    6. Rearranging.
    7. Fresh flowers.
    Have a great week.

  2. Jone, Margaret’s book is right up your alley! Also, I like ALL the elements of your week.

  3. Good morning, Imps!

    How cool! I didn’t know how Pluto got its name. Go Venetia! Hello, Elizabeth and Alice!

    Jules: Enjoy Dark! Keep me posted so I know where (and when!) you are. 🙂 I agree – everyone deserves to be heard and respected. Ooh, that theme song is fun. I’m going to listen to the entire soundtrack now.

    Jone: That sounds like a lovely week!

    My kicks:
    1) Good job
    2) Offer
    3) Glad
    4) Sharing
    5) Caring
    6) Acknowledging
    7) Simple

  4. Will do, Little Willow! … Congrats on your mystery offer.

    Have a good week, you two!

  5. I had no idea this was how Pluto was named – this is so very cool.

    Jules – hooray for your kickass daughters and their friends, breakfast tacos, friends over for brunch, and have fun presenting this week, they are lucky to have you!

    Jone – your week sounds pretty perfect to me. Especially getting to hang out with friends for lunch and dinner, and reading on the deck.

    LW – Hoping that kicks 1 and 2 and 3 flow into each other in real life as easily as they do while reading them.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Was set for a 3 week trial starting last Monday. After a long and highly unexpected day in court, that changed and now my 3 weeks opened up a little bit.
    2) Portland Thorns played Orlando Pride today & it was an exciting game – Portland won in the final 2 minutes!
    3) The USWNT players weren’t back yet, but Brazilian badass Marta was playing for Orlando and she was seriously impressive.
    4) I bought a shark fin for Daisy and her awesome therapy techs put the fin on her and took video and pics of her wearing it on the underwater treadmill- they even hummed the Jaws theme while filming!
    5) Very grateful Daisy has such a wonderful people to take care of her, I really adore them and so does she.
    6) Seriously hooked on The Good Fight – been making my way through Season 1 – such smart and witty episodes. Plus they curse as much as me and many of my colleagues do.
    7) Serious envy of Dianne Lockhart’s suits and general badassery.
    7.5) Fans at the Thorns game shouting Equal Pay after the game:

    Have a great week everyone!!

  6. Rachel, seeing Daisy do her therapy is one of the best things about social media. I’m glad to hear you like The Good Fight. I might have to watch that. Your last kick is the BEST.

  7. See you at CCYAL! I’m in the Lawson-McGhee children’s room now and get to attend for work! YAY!

  8. Hi, Alice! I will only be there virtually this year (I’ll be Zooming in my presentation). I’m sorry I’ll miss seeing you in person.

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