Archive for December 11, 2019

Astro Girl

Written and Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max

When a little girl, Astrid, is asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she insists that all she wants is to go into space. Papa is quick to point out the many difficulties with being an astronaut.

Lively illustrations help to show how the difficulties of space travel might affect an astronaut. Astronauts endure some extreme motion. Papa swings Astrid around to show how that might be. Astronauts must eat tubes of food, like a cereal bar. Astrid thinks she can handle that. Astronauts endure zero gravity, so Papa throws her up in the air. Astronauts must do experiments, such as making cookies. Can Astrid endure the isolation of space? Turns out Mama is an astronaut herself.

An added bonus lists five women who have been instrumental in space exploration. This is a great way to introduce space travel to younger readers.

  • Astro GirlTitle: Astro Girl
  • Author/Illustrator: Ken Wilson-Max
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Career aspirations
  • ISBN: 978-1-5362-0946-4


Written by Meg McKinlay
Illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom

Based on the double meaning of the word duck, – noun and interjection – the humor is a little predictable. But it’s the kind of clean humor young kids understand and enjoy. And the illustrations are also the silly kind that make a first grader laugh with the farm animals.

In a barnyard, a duck runs into the scene shouting, “Duck!” Naturally, each animal he encounters corrects him by saying they are not a duck. The horse points out that, while ducks are small and waddly, horses are noble and tall. The cow says ducks have funny webbed feet, and cows have fine cloven hooves. The pig is proud of his fine pig snout, as opposed to the duck’s poky little beak. And the sheep compares her fine woolly coat to the duck’s fluffy little feathers. Of course, none of them understands that the barn is about to collapse.

Whether for independent reading or for reading aloud, this is a fun book. It invites comparison of animal characteristics and well as being just plain funny.

  • Duck3Title: Duck!
  • Author: Meg McKinlay
  • Illustrator: Nathaniel Eckstrom
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: K to 4
  • Genre: Humor, Animals
  • ISBN: 978-1-5362-0422-3