Saturday, November 4, 2017

Kid Konnection: Space-Themed Picture Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you two picture books that both take place in outer space -- one that's true and one that's make-believe!

Summary: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly was the first to spend an entire year in space! Discover his awe-inspiring journey in this fascinating picture book memoir (the perfect companion to his adult book Endurance) that takes readers from Scott’s childhood as an average student to his record-breaking year among the stars.

Scott Kelly wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up. He struggled in school and often got in trouble with his twin brother, Mark.

Then one day Scott discovered a book about test pilots and astronauts that set him on a new path.

His new focus led him to fly higher and higher, becoming first a pilot and then an astronaut, along with his brother—the first twin astronauts in history. But his greatest accomplishment of all was commanding the International Space Station and spending nearly a year in space, which set the record for the longest spaceflight by an American.

This story of an ordinary boy who grew up to do extraordinary things is perfect for children, fans of Scott’s adult book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, aspiring astronauts, and anyone who has ever tried to defy the odds. It will amaze and inspire you. -- Crown

MY JOURNEY TO THE STARS by Scott Kelly (with Emily Easton) and illustrated by Andre Ceolin is a wonderful picture book, especially for those kids who are interested in space and astronauts. Author Scott Kelly actually is a NASA astronaut who spent an entire year on the International Space Station/ISS (the first person to do this!), and he's chronicling his adventures in this picture book.

MY JOURNEY TO THE STARS is a great story about Kelly and his life. The book even goes back in time to when Kelly and his twin brother Mark (also an astronaut) were daring young boys. There are just enough details about his childhood to make children relate to him, and he even describes what it was like to have parents that fought with each other.

Kelly explains that he didn't always know what he wanted to be. He struggled as a student and had difficulties paying attention during school. Fortunately, he had a principal who had faith in him... and we all know how much of a difference a good teacher can make in a child's life. Kelly also shares how he became fascinated with NASA and astronauts worked his way through college, the Navy, and NASA training!

As inspiring as Kelly's story is, I think kids will love when he gets to the "space" stuff! He talks about his adventures in space as well as some of the trials that were conducted with Kelly and his twin brother who lived on Earth. There are lots of fun details like how he slept on the ISS, the various experiments he conducted, and the risks associated with living on a space station.

The awe-inspiring photographs and the illustrations are the perfect complement to this picture book. However, what I loved the most about this book were the messages. Hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) in Kelly's story are strong messages about persistence, finding one's way, and turning problems into strengths.

I loved MY JOURNEY TO THE STARS. I highly recommend this picture book for school and home libraries!

Summary: Little Alien is sick. And sick is extra-terrestrial bad when you have two scratchy throats, five ears that hurt, and three runny noses. Splatch! Sputter! Spurt! Luckily Mama and Daddy Alien have an arsenal of lunar decongestants and meteor showers on hand to make him feel a little better (not to mention a Milky Way milkshake to help the medicine go down). Even so, the family’s alien pooch, Mars Rover, can’t stand to see his little buddy feeling out of sorts. Can a loyal pup’s funny tricks finally coax a smile?

Ahhh-flying-saucer-shooting-star-CHOO! Laughter is the best medicine when you’re a little alien feeling under the weather. -- Candlewick Press

ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! AHHH-CHOO! by Katy S. Duffield and illustrated by K.G. Campbell is very, very cute! This book is aimed at preschoolers and it's a fun story about what happens when a little alien gets a cold!

We all hate being sick, but just imagine if you were a little alien. Instead of one stuffed-up nose, you had three! And forget about a sore throat -- Little Alien has two! And ear aches take on a whole new meaning when you have five ears! Needless to say Little Alien is pretty miserable.

Mama and Daddy Alien do their best to help their little one. The provide lunar decongestants, a Milky Way milkshake, and Shooting Star Ear Drops... but nothing seemed to help. That is, until Little Aliens best friend Mars Rover stepped in. Will the adorable puppy help get Little Alien to forget how sick he really is?

I thought ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! AHHH-CHOO! was seriously adorable. The story is funny and I'm certain little ones will like it (especially the after-effects of the lunar decongestants!), and the illustrations are just precious. The book is silly enough that maybe (just maybe) it could make your kids forget their troubles the next time they are sick!

Giveaway alert: There are two great giveaway opportunities!!

  • One grand-prize winner will receive a out-of-this-world alien backpack with a signed copy of Aliens Get the Sniffles Too! along with tissue packs, toy mini aliens, and space pencils. 
  • Ten lucky runners-up will receive a copy of Aliens Get the Sniffles Too! To enter, click here.

Thanks to Crown Books and Blue Slip Media for providing review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

Both of these look great but My Journey to the Stars really stands out to me.

Stacie said...

I loved watching for Scott Kelly's Instagram posts. His photos from Space were so amazing. I bet the book is awesome!