Day 56: Eight Planets

Eight Planets
Matt Zurbo


Little Louie had eight planets
crammed inside his head.
The way they span and twirled,
kept his quest for learning fed.
(Smiling kid with top half of skull tucked under arm, top of planets can be seen in rest of his head.)

At night he would let them out,
so they could loop about.
The kid from next door saw,
and brother did he shout!
(Little Louie standing there, with kid pointing at him, while shouting to others off page.)

Next thing Little Louie knew,
his head became big news.
Everybody suspicious, scared,
which gave him the deep blues.
(Little Louie sitting on a crate, hands on chin, while film crews, parents and bible bashers argue around him.)

So Little Louie was sent
to the most amazing school.
Where he blended right in,
and didn’t feel the fool.
(Double page spread with Little Louie, back to us, suitcase in hand, planets spinning, looking at other kids. One has rainbow coming from head. Other, amazing patterns coming from ears. Tall kid has leaver with telescope coming from ear. Girl has fairies flying around her. Other girl has balloon full of butterflies. Kid with eagle head. Kid with flaming hands. Teacher with halo of gears. Little boy is space outfit, holding helmet. Girl at back with moon hovering over her, and a few owls flying around.)

For show-and-tell he heard
amazing stories, mythology.
So many cool things to learn,
a boy as happy as can be!
(Cyclops in front of class, holding an elephant’s skull, placing eye in its snout hole, diagram of an elephant and its skull, in background.)
(Girl with butterfly balloon talking, more butterflies coming out of her mouth.)
(Tall, older girl in deep sea outfit taking about her pet giant squid, which she has on a leash.)

Little Louie’s turn, he stood
at the top of the class,
explaining one-by-one,
his eight weird body parts.
(Little Louie at top of class.)

“Mercury is the smallest,
closest to the sun.
Somehow, it has wrinkles!
How weird is that, and fun!”
(Each page for each planet has Little Louie in bottom middle, explaining to a different character from initial class introduction. The said planet big, above them. The text, and some small, additional facts,)

“Venus, also quite small,
was named after the God of Love.
Yet its clouds are made of acid,
its heat would melt your blood…”

“When I want to be calm,
I try to think of the Earth.
Fire, wind, soil, water,
the place that gave me birth.

“Mars it’s said once had life,
just like early planet Earth.
Now made of red dust,
who’ll colonise it first?

“Jupiter is ENORMOUS!
It has a stormy eye.
Made of gas it absorbs
most meteors shooting by.

“Saturn is my dreamy side,
as well as my constant wonder.
All those moons, the rings,
make my heart beat like thunder.

“Uranus comes to mind,
when I want to spin my own way.
It rotates top to bottom,
not west to east, they say.

“It has 27 moons,
winds 900kms per hour!
Rings, volcanic plumes,
a place of amazing power.

“Neptune is a bluish hue,
another mighty ice giant,
takes 164 years to lap my head,
way out there, so defiant.  

“Every mood I have,
orbiting around in there,
with so much more to learn, explore!
It’s almost too much to bare.”
(Little Louie looking up in pleased awe, at his planets, and the Milky Way above them.)

Show-and-tell done,
everybody said great thanks,
then a girl followed by the moon,
walked up with a friendly face.
(Girl in gothic white, with house-sized moon above her, and a few owls circling, approaching Little Louie. Moon is 2/3rds eclipsing the sun.)

“Time to sleep,” she whispered,
moving slowly, eclipsing the sun,
until everything was dark,
and Little Louie woke at home.
(Little Louie sleeping contently in bed.)

Little Louie, after that,
went about his everyday,
unaware of the joy and wonder
he’s inspired that day.  
(Final image of little astronaut boy standing on apple crate to look through giant telescope from telescope boy’s ear, at moon of walking away moon girl. Behind astronaut boys, gears teacher is watching on. Bored kids, top half a lion, sitting next to teacher. Little Astronaut boy has small love heart rising from him.)


The End

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