NONFICTION

The Astronaut With a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ellen Ochoa

The Innovation Prs. (Amazing Scientists: Bk. 4). Sept. 2019. 40p. bibliog. chron. photos. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781943147632.
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Gr 3-5–Racism, sexisim, and other hardships did not keep Dr. Ellen Ochoa from living her dream of becoming an astronaut. The illustrations of Ochoa and other people featured have a cartoon feel to them, giving them a lighthearted quality. Overall the artwork complements the poetry wonderfully, using light colors and minimalist designs that capture the action and convey the messages in each scene. The end pages of space with “Elena Ochoa” written in the stars make for a beautiful detail for an inspiring story. The poetry follows a ABCB rhyme scheme, and while it gives the book a singsong feel, it makes the content and background information manageable, age appropriate, and fun. There are additional pages of facts and tidbits, full biographical information, and a time line of major events in the subject’s life and career for readers wanting more straightforward facts than what is revealed in the main text of the story.
VERDICT This delightful book combines poetry and whimsical artwork to tell Ochoa’s story, the world’s first Latina in space, and the hard work and perseverance that got her all the way to the stars. A must purchase for all elementary science and biography collections.

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