ASTRONAUTS ZOOM! | Kirkus Reviews

An alphabet of activities inside and outside the International Space Station.

In big, bright photographs, a cast of astronauts—39 all told, identified at the end, nearly half women, and diverse of race and national origin— “awake,” “brush” their teeth, and then go about their business until it’s time to be “zipped in for the night.” That business has a distinctly playful cast, as glimpses of astronauts exercising, using scientific instruments, or floating out in space are interspersed with views of one juggling 16 pieces of fruit, another giving a soccer ball a kick that sends him head over heels, two playing guitars, three sitting around a table with floating pizzas, and other signs that it’s not all noses to the grindstone all the time. Big letters that look a bit like refrigerator magnets accompany each photo, set against contrasting backgrounds. Despite this, the alphabetic bit is really just a pretext, as closing notes explaining the tasks and instruments on display, an illustrated appendix about astronaut training, and a final list of home or classroom enrichment activities confirm. Everyone in sight is plainly having a grand time, though, so the pedagogical ballast puts no heavy load on a high-spirited picture of daily life in low-Earth orbit. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 68% of actual size.)

A fizzy mix of space fun and science.

(Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: yesterday

ISBN: 978-1-943978-50-2

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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