That’s Some Poetic License

From 25 Spanish Plays for Emergent Readers (K-1, Scholastic), an item from a play about planets:

Neptuno: Yo soy Neptuno. Nunca estoy solo. ¡Mi pequeño amigo Pluton esta a mi lado todo el tiempo!

I’m not much on Spanish, but I’m told this means,

Neptune: I am Neptune. I am never alone. My little friend Pluto is by side always!

Except that the minimum distance between Neptune and Pluto is apparently 17 AU (i.e., 17 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun), which is more than half the distance between Neptune and the Sun. Wolfram Alpha reports that, right now, Pluto and Neptune are 28.47 AU apart; that’s almost as far as the current distance between Neptune and the Earth (29.49 AU). Pluto and Neptune don’t travel together at all. (The statement in the play would have been true if Pluton had been taking about his pequeño amigo Caronte.)

I realize that kids’ plays aren’t always supposed to be completely accurate, and that’s fine as to parts that are obviously fictionalized (e.g., Neptune talking). But if the statements sound like they might be accurate, why not make sure that they are accurate — especially in a play that teachers are likely to see as a way to teach children both Spanish and some very basic things about astronomy?

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