Ever ready to extend her culinary experience, the old lady of song turns to astrophagy.
Colandro’s 17th (and counting) riff on the classic cumulative rhyme sends the space-suited elder into space to swallow the moon (“It happened at noon at noon”). She then goes on in no obviously logical fashion to chow down on a star, a planet, a comet, a meteoroid, a rocket (“It was next on the docket”), and a satellite—before settling at last, in Lee’s frenetically stippled climactic scene, amid a diverse group of awestruck children beneath a gloriously crowded planetarium “sky.” In between verses two young and generally earthbound observers, one a child of color and the other white, step in to supply basic astro-facts (“That meteoroid made a loud sound!” observes one; the other explains, “It’s a meteorite when it hits the ground”) that are extended, at least a little, in a set of closing notes. And a search-and-find game at the end invites emergent stargazers to go back in search of various objects hidden in the cartoon starscapes. The titular old astronaut will be instantly recognizable to fans of the series as the bespectacled, white-bunned, lantern-jawed white protagonist they’ve come to know.
The archetype’s patterns are just visible enough to boost this light payload of silliness and STEM-ware into orbit. (Informational picture book. 6-8)