Everything you ever wanted to know about working in space and a lot more besides, including facts that range from those you’d expect to the downright bizarre.
How to be an Astronaut and Other Space Jobs is being pitched in the blurb as the ‘The Ultimate Guide to Working in Space’ and it does it exactly that. There’s a handy introduction to space, the history of space travel, and what it’s like to be an astronaut before we’re introduced to just about every job that makes space travel possible. This includes computer engineers, designers of space suits, satellites and spaceships as well as the various roles in Mission Control, planetary scientists, astrobiologists and exoplanet hunters. The list continues and, whatever the reader’s skills or interests, there’s likely to be a job that will appeal.
If you regularly read my reviews, you’ll know I normally review fiction for children and young adults rather than non-fiction. However, the moment I heard about this book I was intrigued enough to want to read more. And I’m so glad I did.
The book is positively bursting with facts about space from those that you would expect to a selection of facts than range from the unusual to the downright bizarre. For example, did you know that there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on the whole Earth? Or that you need to be able to speak Russian to be an astronaut? Or even the fact that astronauts have a special piece of Velcro in inside their helmets, so they can scratch their noses!
Author, Dr Shelia Kanani, has also included facts that will particularly appeal to children – such as the short description of how a space toilet works and how the spacesuits for Moon Landings have built-in nappies! The text is pitched at the right level for children, being easy to understand and follow. Without preaching, the book also makes a strong case for why we need to look after our world.
The book is well designed with lots of stylised yet clear pictures. Added to this, there are two pages of stickers at the end of the book along with a double-sided fold out page to use these stickers to create what a holiday to the moon might look like or what it might be like to travel in outer space. And, if this isn’t enough to appeal to children, there’s also a press-out kit to build your own rocket! (Sorry I can’t comment on how easy this is as I haven’t tried building mine yet.)
If your children enjoyed this and you’re looking for another book full of space facts, why not try The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by Louie Stowell and Roger Simo.
Publication date: June 2019
Publisher: Nosy Crow