This delightful picture book starts with Astrid kneeling on her bed, looking at the stars through her telescope, with lots of space-related stuff in her bedroom. She tells her friend Jake that she wants to be an astronaut, and also announces this fact to her Dad at breakfast. Are you sure? asks Dad, and in subsequent pages he reels off all the things an astronaut must do – go round and round the earth (he swings her around), eat food out of packet or tube (she munches on a cereal bar) , get used to zero-gravity ( he throws her up in the air), do science experiments ( she makes cookies), sleep on her own ( ‘That will be very hard’, says Astrid, ‘but I’ll do it’). To everything else, she has said “I can do that”. At last it’s the day they are going to fetch Mum, and Dad straps her into her car seat. They go to the airbase, and they are in the front of the crowd when the doors open and out walked three people. Of course, one of them is Mum, the astronaut, and Astrid gives her Mum a big hug, telling her she wants to be like her. The book ends with information about astronauts, space food and training, and 5 female astronauts, including the first African American woman and the first woman of Indian origin.
It’s a very encouraging story, and Ken Wilson-Max’s illustrations, with their textured look, are as delightful as ever.