Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 Emily the Astronaut: The Space Case

This story of a girl's quest to reach the moon is told in first person style, with the narrator directly addressing the reader. Emily explains that she wants to be the first girl on the moon and then shows us how she researches her goal. She talks to her father, her friends Noah and Hannah, and her family even travels to Cape Canaveral. They get to see a rocket launch, and Emily and Hannah visit Kennedy Space Center. A female astronaut tells the girls about the moon and Mars. By the end of the trip Emily has made her plan for reaching the moon and can't wait to get started.

The illustrations are done in a multimedia style that combines photographs (including NASA images), artwork created by the author, and even artwork from her own daughter - Emily. A lot of whimsy comes through in the teasing by Emily's father that the moon is made of cheese or that she can ride a skateboard on the Milky Way, and the artwork follows through on that lightheartedness. Along the way young readers will learn about the orbits of the Earth and moon, what the Milky Way really is, and what the moon is made of (not cheese). 

The author's experience as a teacher has guided her in keeping the text from simply being a written lecture. Instead, she uses the humor and Emily's curiosity to uncover answers along the way and keep the story moving. Familiar things like remembering a friend's school project or reconnecting with a classmate that has moved away keep the book grounded, in a good way, while letting us explore Emily's interest in reaching space. We can hope that other young students will also be inspired to reach for the moon and beyond.

I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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