Review of Astro Girl

Astro Girl
by Ken Wilson-Max; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.
9/19    978-1-5362-0946-4    $16.99

As young Astrid gazes out her bedroom window at the stars, using a hand-held telescope, we see visual evidence of her astronomy obsession all around: a helmet, model rocket ship, etc. The straightforward text begins: “Astrid had loved the stars and space ever since she could remember.” Most of the book follows Astrid and her Papa at home spending time together and playfully discussing (and acting out) the girl’s ambition. When Papa tells Astrid that in space she will have to eat meals in small packages, she shows how she is already preparing by snacking on a cereal bar; Papa says she’ll have to get used to zero gravity, while tossing her into the air. At the end of the day they drive to pick up Astrid’s mother from work — at the space center, where Mama and two other astronauts are just exiting a space shuttle. Wilson-Max uses bold colors and thick black lines in his painterly illustrations, which convey the warmth and joy of a family of color consisting of an impressively accomplished working mother, a loving father as primary caregiver, and a young girl who dreams of reaching for the stars. Informative back matter highlights five female astronauts (with an error regarding the date of Shannon Lucid’s mission) and a handful of space-flight facts.

From the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine.

Dr. Michelle H. Martin
Dr. Michelle H. Martin
Dr. Michelle H. Martin is the Beverly Cleary Professor for Children & Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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