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by Aneta Cruz ; illustrated by Olivia Aserr

Pub Date: March 16th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-63592-288-2
Publisher: Boyds Mills

Enthusiastic Astrid prepares to be an astronaut while her father chases after her.

Organic lines and jewel tones warmly depict Astrid building spaceships, making astronaut food, and practicing floating in space. She counts stars to fall asleep, then finds herself on a planet populated by giant ETs. They’re too big for her to build them spaceships, so she blasts off to a planet that has tiny aliens instead. No success there either. In an arresting full-bleed illustration, starry sky blends into Astrid’s celestial bedspread as she wakes up back on Earth. Finally, she asks her dad for help, and he’s only too happy to assist her building, cooking, floating, and star-counting. In another striking double-page spread depicting them stargazing together, even her dad’s fuzzy sweater seems palpable. Astrid’s turtle pal appears frequently, never in its terrarium. Astrid, her father, and her discreetly pictured absent mother have brown skin and dark hair. One endmatter page offers informational paragraphs on space shuttles, astronaut food, and gravity, but this book aims to inspire more than educate. It’s confusing for the text to refer to rocket boosters and fuel tanks next to an illustrated retro-stylized spaceship that has neither. It’s downright incorrect to say that orbits happen “because of the way gravity works in space”; gravity works the same way in space as it does on Earth. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 91% of actual size.)

A fun read, though its narrative may gratify adults more than children.

(Picture book. 4-8)