now... buckle up and prepare for Take Off.
To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space
by Carmella Van Vleet & Dr. Kathy Sullivan; illus. by Nicole Wong
40 pages; ages 5-8
Theme: science, space, exploration, women
“Kathy Sullivan loved to explore.”
When her father brings home blueprints of airplanes, she studies their lines and curves. She daydreamed about flying, and when people asked, she told them that when she grew up she wanted to see the whole world. And she did – becoming the first woman to walk in space.
What I like about this book: It portrays a little girl who wants to be an adventurer and see the world at a time when girls were expected to grow up to be mothers or teachers or nurses. I like the way that pairs of spreads alternate, showing Kathy as a girl and in the next spread as a grown woman facing the same questions and problems. For example: a wonderful illustration of her as a teenager in the cockpit, learning to pilot a plane. “There were so many dials and buttons and numbers.” The next spread shows Kathy as an astronaut studying another (much larger) instrument panel.
There is great back matter including a note from Kathy, additional biographical material, and “American Women Firsts in NASA History”.
Beyond the book: everyone has dreams. What’s your dream; what do you want to do when you grow up?
Visit an airport to watch planes take off and land. Some airports have an observation tower where you can sit and watch, or a special parking lot for plane-watching. See if there’s a children’s museum where you can sit in the cockpit of a plane or space ship.
Visit the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian if you have a chance – or check out the photos of aircraft they have at their website. Or find one closer to where you live.
Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by the publisher.