Book Review: Astronaut Annie by Suzanne Slade, Nicole Tadgell

Astronaut Annie is a picturebook written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Nicole Tadgell. Career Day is approaching, and Annie can’t wait to show her family what she’s planning to be when she grows up. But, she must keep it a secret until Friday! So curious family members each ask Annie for a clue. Convinced that she’ll be a news reporter like he once was, Grandpop gives her his old camera and notebook to use for her presentation. Grandma is sure Annie wants to be a champion baker like her, so she offers a mixing bowl and oven mitts to Annie. Hopeful she'll become the mountain climber he aspired to be, Dad gives Annie an old backpack. Mom presents Annie with a pair of high-top sneakers to pursue Mom's favorite sport in high school -- basketball. Grateful for each gift, Annie cleverly finds a way to use them all to create her Career Day costume. When the big day arrives, Annie finally reveals her out-of-this-world dream to everyone.
Astronaut Annie is a picturebook that embraces and expresses the idea that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. Anne has her  own dream, but has not shared it. I love the variety of options her family encourages her to follow, and hopes for her. I found the little hints (as if the title was not enough to give it away to readers) about what she really wants to be.The illustrations are lively, and add a great deal to the story.  I love that there are no limits placed on her, and while each of the people on her family have their own ideas of what her choice may be- they only offer support not pushes to follow the path they had in mind. I found the additional information in the endpapers about real women in NASA and the moon to be helpful for readers that are interested in learning about people and things involved in the dream of being and astronaut. I also liked that the sources and information for further research is also included.

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