Goodnight, Astronaut – written by Scott Kelly, illustrated by Izzy Burton, Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, 9781524764289, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Explore with astronaut Scott Kelly as he recalls the many wondrous places where he’s fallen asleep and bid the world “good night.” Readers journey across the Earth, under the sea, and finally to the stars with bright illustrations and calm free-verse.
The overall connection of to sleep and rest is a lovely reminder to readers of the potential they all possess. Kelly’s words are gentle and inspiring. The author’s wide range of adventures are truly amazing and Burton’s full-color illustrations fill the page to not just show readers what each location looks like, but to imbue a sense of wonder. Color palettes change between scenes and pages, switching between the warm colors of dawn in the forest on one page to the tropical colors of fish against a shining undersea pod in an ocean scene; any page that readers open up to is a visual treat. Backmatter in the book features photographs of the places mentioned with small blurbs for context. These are an excellent addition for young readers curious to know more!
Anything you didn’t like about it? The free verse writing style roams dramatically in terms of flow. This is not a deal-breaker, but merely something that stands out amongst the stunning visuals and intriguing story.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great read in one-on-one or group storytimes for ages 4 to 7. An ideal book for young explorers!
Who should buy this book? Libraries with a hearty bedtime story collection should not miss adding this to their shelves.
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No. Educators and librarians may want to consider this for an “astronaut” storytime theme with older preschoolers through first graders.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: March 15, 2021