Astromouse – Steve Smallman (Due to be published 21.6.18)

AstromouseI chose to read this book purely on the basis that the cover image is exactly the sort of book I would have chosen way back when I was in the target age bracket for this book. It reminded me (as do many of the book’s illustrations) of the sort of films I loved as a kid like Fieval Goes West, Basil the Great Mouse Detective and The Rescuers. I think the early 1990’s childhood version of myself would have been happy with this book choice. It’s a nice little story with some adventure and exploration. Exactly what I would have wanted from a book.

Nowadays, as a teacher approaching this book, my main preoccupations are how it could be used with a class or a group of children. I am happy then to be able to say that this book would definitely be of use in class.

There’s a range of topics this book could help with from design and technology (design your own spaceship?) to science and maths (space, transport and there’s even a lovely image relating to reflection – brings to mind the fable of a greedy dog and a bone seeing its own reflection actually).

So, this book would ordinarily get 4 stars for being useful, interesting and a definite must have for KS1 classrooms. However, it sneaks in a bonus star for its final page. It ends with ideas for comprehension questions, ideas for inspiring writing and even a plan for an art lesson follow up. That’s a feature always appreciated in books for educators!

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