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by Meghan McCarthy

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 10th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-94459-1
Publisher: Knopf

“Welcome to astronaut school!” With this cheery salutation, McCarthy introduces eager readers to the specifics of astronaut training and what it’s like to go into space. “[D]ecide what kind of astronaut you want to be,” be it a pilot, scientist or satellite-repair technician, and then study; a now-trademark bug-eyed character sits in front of an elaborate contraption featuring flasks and tubes, glancing through goggles at a stack of books: Basic Russian, Physics, Aeronautics…. Survival training and exercises in teamwork lead to a trip in the “Vomit Comet” and then to outer space. The exhortatory text, peppered with exclamation points, clearly assumes a matching level of enthusiasm from its audience, which, if it wasn’t there to begin with, will surely rise to the occasion. Of especial interest to budding spacekids is an introduction to such critical equipment as space suit and space toilet, the latter complete with labeled thigh restraints and a “vacuum for solids.” So that’s what they do! Rounding out the cheery package are lists of truly “Fascinating Facts” and resources and places to visit. (Informational picture book. 5-8)