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Reach for the Stars with Astro-Girl

Astro Girl, by Ken Wilson-Max, (Sept. 2019, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536209464

Ages 4-8

Astrid is a little girl who loves the stars and space.  She and her father act out the challenges that astronauts face in outer space, as they wait to meet Astrid’s mom, who’s coming home from a business trip… of sorts. He swings her around and around like a spaceship orbiting Earth and tosses her up in the air, defying gravity like an astronaut; she eats a cereal bar in place of astronaut food in a tube and conducts her own “experiments” by making rocket ship cookies.

I love Ken Wilson-Max’s bold, bright acrylic artwork, and Astro Girl has plenty of it. Boldly outlined, with bright, bold colors, Astro Girl is as wonderful to look at as it is to read. The story of a family of color is a great STEAM story, too: Astrid’s mom is an astronaut, and Astrid means to follow in her footsteps. Back matter includes the origin of the word “astronaut”, and brief profiles on five women who have gone into space, just like Astrid’s mom. Endpapers show a midnight blue sky, sprinkled with stars, giving kids the same desire to reach for the stars that Astrid is imbued with. The warm colors and bold outlines make this a warm book that draws readers close and talks to them, like Astrid has a secret to share with each reader.

I can’t get enough of Astro Girl, and I guarantee your readers won’t, either. The cover features Astrid, in her bright orange jumpsuit and astronaut helmet – accompanied by her dog – is a striking sight that will grab everyone’s attention. My son asked me if this was a Mae Jemison book when he saw it! Use this as an opportunity to get Mae Jemison’s name, and the names of other astronauts. You can start with the most recent all-female spacewalk:


Astro Girl is a must-have for your storytimes, and your STEM/STEAM shelves.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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