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Volume VIII Number 1 . . . . September 7, 2001
Part of Bobbie Kalman's "Eye on the Universe" series, The Life of an Astronaut clearly shows young readers the various aspects of this fascinating job. Its comprehensive coverage shows children the history, training, challenges, daily routines and the actual space flight experiences of astronauts. It concludes with information on becoming an astronaut of the future.
Niki Walker provides an attractive, easy-to read layout for young readers. The bold fonted subtitles allow the reader to easily identify key topics. The wide range of topics vary from "training for weightlessness" to "the Shuttle's toilet." The numerous photographs, many from NASA, are either captioned or are formatted in a text box accompanied by a clear explanation. Well-labeled diagrams are also included and keywords in bold font are defined in the glossary. These features attract even the reluctant reader to become involved both with the pictures as well as the written text.
Science begins with a child's curiosity about their world and questions that seek answers. Important sources of information to answer those questions are books such as The Life of an Astronaut. The clearly worded, factual information and the accompanying pictures help the child gain a new understanding and a growing sense of awe of the world beyond the fascinating job of an astronaut.
The Life of an Astronaut is a useful resource for understanding and investigating space science and the associated career of an astronaut. It is unfortunate that there is no direct reference to Canadian astronauts and their contributions to the space program. The robotic arm is mentioned, but the information merely states that "many different countries are working together." Also, to illustrate how quickly information becomes dated, the space station MIR is still in place although reference to its replacement is included. Parents and teachers may wish to include other Canadian resources to complement this book in their collections.
Janice Foster is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.