________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 11. . . .November 15, 2013


Postcards From Space: The Chris Hadfield Story.

Heather Down.
Barrie, ON: Echo Books/Wintertickle Press, 2013.
32 pp., pbk, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-894813-64-8.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Sherry Faller.

*** /4



In 2001 Col. Hadfield went into space again. This time he was on the space shuttle Endeavor. He helped to deliver and install the Canadarm2 at the International Space Station. He performed two space walks. He was the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft and float freely in space.


This simplified biography of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield relates how he worked hard to accomplish his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. His early interests and short flights on his blast-off to achievement demonstrate that hard work and perseverance can launch you to your dreams, no matter how high. Hadfield is a modern Canadian hero having achieved many ‘firsts’. He was the first Canadian to spacewalk. He delivered, installed and used the robotic Canadarm on the space station Mir. He took part in three separate missions into space, and on his last, he became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station from March 13 to May 13, 2013.

internal art     This book touches on the challenges of living in space. Astronauts must exercise daily so their bodies do not deteriorate. Eating, drinking, washing up and doing repairs and maintenance to the space station are all more challenging in space.

      While up in space for five months, Hadfield took many pictures inside the station and of various parts of Earth. He was the first astronaut to communicate from space using social media. He sent his pictures, as postcards, and even sang with children on Earth while playing his guitar in space! View his YouTube videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_RB1ENTayU and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvAnfi8WpVE

      Geared for a younger audience, the text is easy to read and filled with well-researched information. Teachers may be interested in the accompanying activity book for ages 5-8 or grades 1-3.

      The colourful photographs from NASA cover whole pages. There are close-up shots of Hadfield, the 1995 rocket launch, space walks and more. They are some of NASA’s most spectacular pictures. The white-bordered postcards appear literally dropped from space, itself, across many pages. They include intriguing shots of various places on Earth. There are volcanic islands, mountains, clouds dotting the surface, sparkling cities at night, giant rock formations, blue lakes and meandering rivers. Regretfully, none are captioned, leaving the reader to wonder where on Earth they are. Some views are so unfamiliar that they could have been taken of another planet. Amazingly enough, they are from our own planet Earth!

      Used as an introduction to space study or to learning about a Canadian hero, Postcards From Space gives readers a glimpse into life in space as it is today. It is recommended for any early years school library or classroom.


Sherry Faller is a retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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