Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story
By Mark Kelly
Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with mice-tronauts on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle "Endeavour" in 2001. "Mousetronaut" tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, "Mousetronaut "is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!"
Meteor the mouse would dearly love to join the shuttle crew, but all the other mice know he's too small. The human shuttle commander's had his eye on Meteor, though, and seeing his motivation, chooses him for one of the six mouse spots. Meteor is such a "natural" in zero gravity, he's allowed out of the cage, aka the Mouse Hotel. The human astronauts are busy on spacewalks and conducting experiments, but there's not much for Meteor to do. When the key to the control panel becomes stuck in a tight spot, the commander says, "This isn't good." Human fingers are too thick, but Meteor saves the day. Kelly, a retired astronaut, puts his expertise to work, naturally sliding the tiniest details of life on a shuttle into his story. Even in space, astronauts answer email; it goes without saying that at least one of the astronauts is a woman; and who knew you needed keys on a space shuttle? (Probably appropriately, the exact role of the mice on the mission is never explored.) Payne has a good time with his illustrations, investing little Meteor with a suitably outsized personality and making his multicultural human shuttle crew look normal as normal can be--like Meteor, maybe child readers can become astronauts, too.
This little mouse may well inspire some big dreams. (afterword, further reading) (Picture book. 3-6)
"Kirkus", September 15, 2012
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|Publisher||Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books|
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