HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Astronaut Handbook: Meghan McCarthy

Astronaut Handbook: Meghan McCarthy

Astronaut Handbook

by Meghan McCarthy

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 10, 2008)

The first thing that appealed to me about the Astronaut Handbook, by Meghan McCarthy, was certainly the illustrations. The cover of the handbook shows super cute astronauts wearing  bright orange suits holding onto their helmets – it really stood out on the store display. I immediately picked it up and started reading to find out if I had what it took to become an astronaut – I’d like to think that I do!

McCarthy’s handbook gives a kid friendly and informative look into the training of an astronaut. The highlights for me – and not surprising to those of you who know me – were: the ‘Vomit Comet’ (a weightless activity), learning that a space suit weighs 280 pounds on earth, and the detailed and labeled illustration of the toilet. Among all of the information McCarthy provides, the reader learns that to have this dream come true one has to study hard, exercise, be able to work as a team, and be prepared to use the strange potty on board the tightly spaced space shuttle (not recommended for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia) – but of course it would all be totally worth it when you get to eat the freeze-dried space-food ice cream! The handbook finishes with a bunch of very interesting facts, including web sites to visit and places to see – of course I was hooked by the facts when I discovered additional information about other toilet stuff, but I don’t want to spoil all the fun, so go and read it for yourself. I highly recommend this for any young boy or girl, 4 – 8yrs old, who ever dreams of being an astronaut or enjoys learning about space.

Links: Check out Meghan McCarthy’s website, there are some great astronaut videos to watch (including more about the toilet) and a craft activity where you learn to make your own rocket.

Non-Fiction Monday: Astronaut Handbook – a post by Tricia at Open Wide, Look Inside.

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