A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet
Have you ever gazed up at the stars and tried to imagine what it would be like to travel there? I grew up with Sputnik! Yes, I’m as old as the dinosaurs, but have many fond memories of our teachers wheeling a TV into our classroom to watch the next space launch. I can proudly say I witnessed every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo launch and landing! My dad was in the US Navy, and his ship picked up one of the Gemini capsules upon landing. Our country and the NASA scientists learned a lot from those missions, and my imagination has never been the same!
The next step was the Space Shuttle, which allowed astronauts to come and go to and from the International Space Station, a microgravity and space research laboratory. Crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. This brings us to Astronaut Clayton Anderson. As a retired explorer who spent 167 days in space (152 were aboard the International Space Station), he brings his expertise to an A to Z book about space, from Astronaut to Zulu Time.
I love the way he pairs rhymes appropriate for children in grades 1-5 with sidebars of in depth information on each topic. I can easily imagine a teacher, parent or grandparent sharing their memories of the space age with children or grandchildren as they read. Scott Brundage’s beautiful illustrations will certainly hold a child’s attention while Clayton answers the myriad number of questions children might ask about the history of NASA, science, or the practical matters of space flight. For example, how do you breathe in space, where do you get energy for the space station, what do you do with the trash from the space station, what do blastoff and flyby mean?
Another topic Clayton is uniquely qualified to address is space walks. Clayton spent nearly forty hours walking in space. Just imagine! (I can’t!) The thought really gives me chills! Your space suit is your own personal space ship while you work to install or repair items on the mother ship. What heroes these men and women are!
A IS FOR ASTRONAUT is a must read book for the adult and child! It may inspire a whole new generation of space explorers, and will certainly educate our children about the wonders of space travel.
To learn more about Astronaut Anderson visit www.astroclay.com For speaking events and appearances visit www.AstronautClayAnderson.com or follow him on Facebook @AstroClay Twitter @Astro_Clay or Insta @astro_clay
Anderson, Clayton C., and Scott Brundage. A Is for Astronaut: Blasting through the Alphabet. Sleeping Bear Press, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1-58536-396-4
Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky