Jostled out of his orbit, a confrontation-averse animate asteroid prone to courtly speech finds himself heading for a perilous, unexpected, fast-track encounter with planet Earth.
While most asteroids “crash,” “bash,” and “smash” into one another, Astro carefully monitors “his personal outer space.” When a rogue satellite approaches, Astro warns: “You stay in your orbit and I’ll stay in mine.” Unfortunately, the fixedly smiling satellite bumps into Astro, who is “understandably distraught” about damage to one of his “favorite craters.” Worse, he’s knocked out of his orbit. Out-of-control and tragically subject to inertia, Astro whizzes past Mars, the moon, and a spacewalking astronaut, irrevocably heading toward Earth, where Nova, a stargazing blonde white girl, tracks his meteoric descent, spectacular breakup, and crash landing. Computer-generated illustrations portray Astro and everything he encounters as simple, cutout shapes in dramatic aqua, red, white, and yellow, contrasting sharply with the dense black backgrounds reminiscent of endless outer space. Astro’s exaggerated facial expressions and ridiculously tiny limbs add drama as well as humor. Bold diagonal lines moving downward across the pages from left to right amplify Astro’s rapid descent, while a double-page spread featuring only the word “SMASH!” in huge text effectively reinforces his colossal crash. An engaging Q-and-A offers scientific information about asteroids.
Informative, dynamic, rich in vocabulary, and quite funny. (suggested reading) (Picture book. 4-8)