When I'm an Astronaut
Dreaming is Believing: STEM
by Samantha Pillay
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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2023
What does it take to be an astronaut?
The simple images in this unique picture book allow children to ponder over the wonders of space while building their self-belief.
Career gender stereotypes and self-efficacy start to form in early childhood. Book Three in the Inspirational Careers for Kids Series encourages children to Dream Big and Aim High.
Find the references for the grown-up astronaut hidden within the images and read the explanation on the author's website.
Expand your child's imagination with the companion Activity Book. Discover Book One - When I'm a Surgeon, and Book Two - When I'm an Entrepreneur.
“The influence of a book like this may be ‘one small step’ in a child’s development, but for some, it will also inspire them to take the next ‘giant leap’.”
Andrew Thomas, NASA Astronaut (retired)
"This one-of-a-kind book brilliantly displays accurate space travel that will spark imaginations, inspire dreams, and delight space lovers, young and old. Look closely at the illustrations for hidden insider details that encourage readers to ask questions and discover even more!"
Andrea Boyd, International Space Station Flight Controller and Deputy of Astronaut Operations for European Space Agency
"Capturing the thought processes of what to be in life, the beauty of the night sky, the magic of space and the stages of becoming an Astronaut from a young age is very inspirational. It shows that anyone can achieve what they aspire to do. This will be a treasured book for many generations."
Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Co-Founder of Fleet Space Technologies.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 55 members
This book was a fantastic read. I will need to look into getting myself a physical copy. This text can be easily adapted into something for me to teach my kiddos! Love it
This book was so neat! I think this series will be super fun for kids to read about aspirational career options and learn all about what the job may look like in a fun and entertaining way. The illustrations were super eye catching and clean and overall I’d definitely recommend the book to families!
I just loved this book - the illustrations and the story are inspiring to all kids ! If you have young children in your life, I highly recommend this one !
First of all, I truly love that the main character talking about what they will do when they become an astronaut is a female person of color. That in and of itself makes this book worth getting for kids.
I have a little girl in my family who dreams of being an astronaut, she will love this. She knows how much it takes to become one, and she is determined to make it. Just like this book.
Cute book with a positive message for being whatever you want to be! My daughter enjoyed the simple pictures but wished the book had been longer.
Thank you Netgalley and Samantha Pillay for the arc in exchange for an honest review
This was a quick but cute read. The illustrations were really lovely to look at, the illustrator did a great job. All of the colors and attention to detail were lovely. The story was simple but good. I liked seeing a girl- especially one of color- as the astronaut, that representation was great. Simple but inspiring!
I thought this was a great book. I loved that it highlights STEM. The illustrations were nice. The message of the book was great and I hope it inspires young people to follow their dreams.
This book will help children understand they can reach for anything, dream big! Will help them understand doing things for the greater good, taking care of themselves, etc. I enjoyed the pictures as well!
A perfect book to introduce children to STEM and dare them to dream high. Even I, an adult, just realized that astronauts is a difficult job and need a high commitment. Nice book
I love that the character is a girl! This book highlights lots of skills and traits that make astronauts successful. I would love to have my kids read this and see how the skills they are learning now could impact their future! It would be nice if there was a little more information in the book pertaining to space. But overall I enjoyed it and think kids interested in space would too!
This was my first book from the “When I’m a…” series. Very cute book with incredible artwork. I love the women In stem representation and how the author shows that it’s a lot of hard work and perseverance to be an astronaut. My daughter enjoyed the book as well!
Both boys & girls should learn at an early age that STEM careers are open to all people. Ms. Pillay does an excellent job of describing what an astronaut will need to do and, through her website, offers more in-depth information about astronauts and the images used in the book should you want to explore further with your child. Having a girl of color and the flag showing the earth, not a specific country, strengthens the point that this is for everyone.
Beautiful photos, simple to read, and a positive way of reinforcing women and people of color in STEM careers.
I would recommend this book to everyone with children.
With simple text and a predictable pattern this book could stretch from a read at bedtime to a book that kids (especially girls) read over and over again. The genuine message of encouragement for all girls to take an interest in science is felt on each page. The message of wonder, excitement, and perseverance fills each page.
Thank you to Netgalley, publisher and Samantha Pillay for this opportunity to read ARC..
This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are gorgeous. It is a good easy read for children. I like that it's using a female and a more unconventional career. Although we have had female astronauts probably not as many as we should. This is definitely I would see as a stem-related book for children especially for girls. On the back of the book it was an interesting read about the author. She became the first female in South Africa to a specialized field as a doctor. Plus she can't overcame dysplasia as a child and took her years to walk. She writes other books about females gender breaking stereotypes in children's books and other books as well. The book also has a website listed where parents can print off coloring sheets from the story for children which I think is great to make that connection with the message.. The author is coming out with another book in 2023. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody for teachers in classrooms, ECE and families.
When I’m an Astronaut is an out of this world book to inspire and excite children of all ages to become an astronaut. I read this book to my child and she loved the art work and the story and kept telling me she was going to the moon and mars all day! We used this book in our science reading time and we discussed what it takes to be an astronaut after reading it. This book is also good to read before the next space rocket launch happening in late August of 2022 which we are going to attend in person at the Kennedy Space center making this book a great choice to read before attending the launch.
This book can be used to introduce students to a space unit or excite children in STEM fields in the classroom. As an extension I recommend students research an astronaut after the book to better understand who can be an astronaut and that astronaut’s come in all races and genders.
I am trying to find new children's books for my niece that was just born. And this is definitely one I would add to her collection.
I love that it is about a little girl dreaming of being an Astronaut. I think it is very empowering and important for more books like this to be out there.
I loved this book! It is a great way to get kids thinking about career possibilities and start thinking that the sky is the limit! This will definitely inspire future astronauts!!
The artistry in this book was life giving. I can’t wait to hold up a physical copy for my own little girls to see themselves and dream the way the book tell them they can! I loved this book! Highly recomend!
Such an empowering book for kids, especially girls. I love how it encourages STEM from a young age. It emphasizes the importance of dreaming big, hard work, determination, practice, and doing well in school in order to reach goals. The illustrations are beautiful too!
This book tells the story of a young girl imaging what it would be like to be an astronaut. The font is large and accessible and the text is fairly simple and uses several sight words and decodable words. I really like that the phrase “when I’m” is used instead of “if I” to show that this young girl can and will reach her dreams. This is particularly important because she is female and black. Empowering young girls and people of colour with such a simple affirmative phrases is a great step towards helping more people see their own potential. As a grade 3 teacher, I would recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in the age 4-9 range. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!
Thank you to Netgalley who gave me this ebook in exchange for a honest review. I read this book at exactly the right time. NASA is currently trying to launch Artemis 1. It is a lunar launch that is not “manned” with all white males. Jessica Watkins and Stephanie Wilson, black women, are crew members. I hope that teachers get this book and read it to their students when Artemis 1 is finally launched. The pattern language is engaging and encourages children to "chime in" and make predictions. Pillay addresses many of the requirements and skills needed to be an astronaut, which opens the door to more research and reading. I discovered that the author has written several books with the pattern," When I’m a… "After reading a few, invite children to write their own.
This is a cute book with a simple concept at heart, a young girl describing what it will be like when she is an astronaut. The content of the book is as complex as you want to make it as a reader or teacher; you can read the text and enjoy the colorful and beautiful illustrations or you can take each page and dive deeper into what the details mean as part of a space unit. My 6 year old was interested in the details of the illustrations and they led to great questions and discussions.
It’s rare when powerful words and ideas are seamlessly connected to the artwork, The assertive messages from our aspiring astronaut. The power of a person’s conviction. The astounding textures and colour in the meticulous illustrations will captivate the young reader. Make this book part of your teaching day.
I loved this one! The words were kept to a minimum on each page so my kids were invested the whole time and able to pay attention. The illustrations were also beautiful! We had a lot of fun with this one!
Review of eBook
When I’m an astronaut, a young girl says, I will reach for the stars. I will study, practice, learn, and when launch day arrives, I will be over the moon with excitement!
When I’m an astronaut, I’ll carry hopes and dreams for many; I’ll be curious, adventurous, and brave. I’ll make the impossible possible, explore the unknown, and go where no one has gone before.
Third in the author’s Inspirational Careers for Kids picture book series, this book helps young readers explore the world and work of astronauts. Colorful illustrations depict the various aspects of an astronaut’s life and work. With its accurate portrayal of astronauts and the lure of space exploration, it is sure to be inspiring for many young readers, particularly those with an interest in space travel and exploration.
Designed to encourage young readers, especially girls, to dream and to consider non-traditional occupations and fields of study, this book is a perfect fit with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] education programs.
There are coloring pages to download from the author’s website [www.samanthapillay.com]; there is also an interesting and informative explanation of the images in the book on the site. An activity book is also available for purchase.
I received a free copy of this eBook from Samantha Pillay and NetGalley
When I’m and Astronaut by Samantha Pillay
" ‘When I’m an Astronaut’ gives children the opportunity to dream, and dream big. Sometimes, children don’t know that there are endless career possibilities. Sometimes, they don’t know what skills they need to pursue a dream field. With this book as a guide, they can start thinking what they might want to do when they grow up. They might want to be an Astronaut. We learn that many skills are required to be an astronaut. The reader can start working now on the science, the math , and physical fitness that they know they’ll need to succeed later. The words are simple enough for elementary grade level. The reader can envision themselves orbiting above the earth as an astronaut. And that’s only the beginning. I hope some child’s dream comes true someday, and all because they read this book long ago. ”
Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher, for the DRC.
Gender and racial stereotypes have no place in this book. This story is all about what it takes to become an astronaut and how it is an achievable dream for any child. The main character is a young black girl and often in STEM careers, girls and black children are often discouraged, or do not have the same opportunities to reach their goals. Seeing this kind of representation in books is so critically important for kids.
There are strong messages and themes of self-confidence, determination and perseverance, as well as going after your dreams no matter what others say. The book goes over what an astronaut does, but the best part is the focus on the character traits that an astronaut will need to develop and show. There is easy text with some repetition making it easy for young readers to join in.
This story was both entertaining and educational, which can be a tricky balance to maintain in a children’s book, and I will be suggesting it to teachers whenever possible. Incorporating social-emotional skills and topics such as this into children's picture books is a tried and true way to teach an important life skill in a way that is fun. This would be an amazing addition for classroom libraries, counselling offices and more.
As a woman in STEM, this inspiring book made me want to cry with joy over how matter-of-factly this brown girl is ignoring all gender/racial stereotypes and going for her dreams of venturing into space. She doesn't say "if" she'll be an astronaut, she declares "when". I am 100% here for her confidence and her success.
"When I'm an astronaut, I'll go where no one has gone before and be part of something bigger than me." Girl, YES YOU WILL.
Best of all, this is third in a series! Watch me rush off to find the first two, because you know they are just as rousing. Samantha Pillay, you just found a devoted fan for life.
This is a really great story with a wonderful message. I will certainly be using this for my 5th grade students when we discuss goal setting and talk about careers. The illustrations are phenomenal.
What drew me to this book was the title “When I’m an Astronaut” with the picture of the little girl on the front. YES! WHEN! Not “if” or “I hope.” I have noticed that so much of the messaging that is sent to girls about future career paths uses terms that suggest uncertainty - “if,” “wish,” “hope,” and “dream” while messaging to boys uses more concrete terms “I will,” “When I grow up,” “I can,” etc. I love that this book says “when” and not “if” and the central character is a little girl of color. Yes for representation! The inside is great as well - the pictures are interesting yet informative and the text is simple but not fluffy. I particularly like that the book emphasizes physics and math as skills needed and also reiterates the need to practice, practice, practice. We need more books like this to read to our kids.
Thank you to NetGalley, Samantha Pillay, and the publishers for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I'm an Astronaut is a story for young children about a girl who wants to go into space and works hard to make that dream come true. It is suitable for reading to younger children, or for first graders to read on their own (or with some help). The pages are dominated by attractive illustrations (including a cute dog) and one sentence per page for easy reading.
I read the story aloud to my daughter (6.5) and son (4) who both enjoyed it.
She gave it 5 stars and had this to say about it:
- I learned a lot about the kinds of things astronauts need to know how to do
- I liked the cute puppy
- The pictures were really pretty
- It was a good story
- I wish more girls went on rocketships in real life
- I liked the page where the astronaut talked to a classroom full of kids.
Some of the things that the story inspired us to talk about included:
- Studying STEM subjects
- The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA
- How SCUBA diving and spacewalks are similar
- Why so many astronauts were fighter pilots
- Keeping track of tools in zero gravity
There was also a link to some free coloring pages based on illustrations from the book, which both children were excited about.
This book is sure to be a hit with young people who have an interest in space.
When I’m an Astronaut is the perfect STEM book for early readers.
The illustrations are vivid and eye-catching with lots of little hidden messages to find.
The repetitive start to each phrase helps young readers learn to recognize new words.
Sight-words are frequently used.
Messages of inclusiveness and diversity dominate the book.
Encouraging young people to aspire to careers in space-related fields can not be underestimated in their educational development.
I love the title of this book. Making the statement "WHEN I'm an astronaut" tells kids to go after their dreams and that they can achieve anything they set out to do in life. The illustrations are beautiful and will undoubtedly get kids thinking about what their dream career might look like, and I wouldn't be surprised if this book inspires young kids to become astronauts some day.
Thank you NetGalley and Samantha Pillay for sending me a free readers copy of this book!
This is a cute read! I love the illustrations (they almost seem like they're animated!) I love the female in STEM representation. Anyone can dream, regardless of gender. This book is an inspiration to girls and very entertaining too.
This is a great book series to introduce kids to different careers and careers in STEM. This book was all about becoming an astronaut. She talked about all the cool and fun different things she would get to do as an astronaut. The different jobs and responsibilities she would have. So much hard work she will have to put into it to become an astronaut. It’s a very inspiring and educational book for young kids who dream of exploring space! I feel like almost all kids go through a phase of wanting to become an astronaut and some never grow out of that and work towards it as an adult. A book like this will help a child realize that their dream can become reality if they really want it to.
I love the whole concept of this series. The books offer inspiration, education and entertainment to the reader. It empowers kids not to say "if" I do... but "when" I do. I also like the adorable main character who is a little girl of colour. She is an aspiring astronaut.
The book encourages kids to follow their heart's desire of what they want to become when they are grown up.
The illustrations are beautiful. They are large, crisp and colourful greatly enriching the positive message of the book perfectly.
With a HUGE dream in your heart, lots of hard work, perseverance, and practice your dream can become a reality. This book should be both in classrooms and elementary school libraries. I highly, highly recommend it!
"When I'm an Astronaut', is the third book in the 'Inspirational Careers for Kids' series and is a brilliant addition. This STEM text is all about a young girl who has big plans to become an astronaut. She outlines all the things she'll need along the way, from a problem-solving mind, to wonder and awe. This book would be a great text for Early Years and Key Stage 1, with simple text and a repetitive structure to each new page, helping with children's familiarisation and giving them a model they can use to produce their own writing. The beautiful illustrations make it even more engaging.
A brilliantly encouraging and diverse text, smashing the gender and racial stereotypes found in too many children's books and showing all children that no dream is shut off to them.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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