A quick course in the skills and background knowledge an astronaut needs.
With the announcement that “You have been selected for astronaut training,” a narrator squires a diverse group of young cartoon figures past sets of small photos of real astronauts in training and larger cartoon views of space and spacecraft, all paired to short explanatory remarks. The course begins with a physical workout, a bit of Russian vocabulary (useful, since astronaut launches are all currently from a Russian base), and a ride on the infamous “Vomit Comet.” In no logical order later spreads introduce constellations and the solar system, take trainees on a trip to the moon, survey galaxies, discuss gravity, preview living and working aboard the ISS, and gather eight luminaries including Laika and Stephen Hawking into an astronautical “Hall of Fame.” The co-published Scientist in Training puts a similarly diverse group in lab coats and offers glimpses of what scientists study, with introductions to fossils, seasons, the water cycle, physical forces, habitats, the human body, and other STEM fields. Aside from a specious claim in the former volume that there “isn’t much gravity in space, so you will float” and in the latter, a slightly misleading claim that scientists “perform exploding experiments,” the informational load, though light, is on-target. Both volumes feature inset spinners on the cover, scattered games within, and multiple-choice review quizzes at the end.
Stimulating career guidance for young STEM-winders. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)