BRAKE, Mark How to be a Space Explorer Lonely Planet Kids, 2014 160pp A$24.99 NZ$26.99 ISBN 9781743603901 SCIS 1684767
This dense book on all things space takes its readers on a figurative journey from the planetarium into our galaxy. It transforms the reader into a space adventurer, showing them what it is to be an astronaut and what types of things they will encounter when hurtling through space and visiting planets, and then what happens when they come back down to earth. Each page is a comfortable double-spread devoted to a single topic, complete with photographs, some DIY activities, and snippets of information. Its logical progression over twelve chapters covers the planets, the moon, space rocks, deep space and re-entering the atmosphere. Male and female astronauts are mentioned, and there are contemporary listings such as Chris Hadfield’s widely viewed space-singing video.
Although there are small instances in the text that show the intended audience is from the northern hemisphere, these aren’t enough to detract from a fun but informative read for potential space explorers. The glossary and the index at the back are useful; as would have been some reference to relevant websites. Recommended for middle years readers.
reviewed by Pam Harvey