Goodnight, Astronaut

Crown. Feb. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524764289.
K-Gr 3–Burton’s bright scenes of many of the places the astronaut and author Kelly has slept while growing up with dreams of spaceflight create cozy alcoves from straps and cords, as well as tents and submerged structures. Kelly tells in quite lyrical language of his and brother’s childhoods and journeys to space: “Sliding silently through the sea, we patrol the depths under the crushing weight of water, safe in a long metal tube with no day and no night.” They were active, busy children dreaming of space, and doing the hard work to get there; Kelly spent time as a sailor, a pilot, an aquanaut, and finally an astronaut. Burton’s digital illustrations add magic and wonder to the text in full- and half-page spreads, depicting scenes under the northern lights, and in a spaceship, just to name two. The narrator concludes by encouraging readers to dream big. This book is a beautifully written, making a prominent figure readily accessible to children.
VERDICT A necessary purchase and thoughtful meditation, for avid fans of space exploration and newbies alike.

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