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Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story (Paula Wiseman Books) Hardcover – October 9, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story (Paula Wiseman Books) + Mousetronaut Goes to Mars (Paula Wiseman Books) + There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Paula Wiseman Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; First Edition edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442458240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442458246
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-In this picture book based on the space shuttle Endeavor, mice are being trained alongside human astronauts and selected to accompany the 2001 mission. Meteor is one of the smallest mice, but the most hardworking. After the suspenseful liftoff, an irreplaceable key gets stuck between control panels, and he hurls into action to save the mission. The concise, energetic writing works in tandem with the highly detailed and expressive, softly crosshatched cartoon art. The tone of the story is celebratory, but also gives an authentic glimpse into daily life on a space shuttle. Close-ups of characters reveal humorous surprise or just pure glee. The astronauts dub Meteor with the title "Mousetronaut" due to his bravery and service. Librarians will want to share the inspiration for this tale included in the afterword, an informative essay on man's quest to overcome gravity and fly. Apparently, during the duration of the flight, only one of the 18 mice onboard the Endeavor playfully and contentedly floated in zero gravity. The rest clung to the cage. The values of being small, useful, solving problems, and working hard-as opposed to being big and strong-will inspire young readers. The bibliography is outstanding as is the kid-friendly list of Internet sources featuring sites with games and videos.-Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Diminutive size proves to be an advantage on a shuttle mission.
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 (Kirkus)

In this picture book based on the space shuttle Endeavor, mice are being trained alongside human astronauts and selected to accompany the 2001 mission. Meteor is one of the smallest mice, but the most hardworking. After the suspenseful liftoff, an irreplaceable key gets stuck between control panels, and he hurls into action to save the mission. The concise, energetic writing works in tandem with the highly detailed and expressive, softly crosshatched cartoon art. The tone of the story is celebratory, but also gives an authentic glimpse into daily life on a space shuttle. Close-ups of characters reveal humorous surprise or just pure glee. The astronauts dub Meteor with the title “Mousetronaut” due to his bravery and service. Librarians will want to share the inspiration for this tale included in the afterword, an informative essay on man’s quest to overcome gravity and fly. Apparently, during the duration of the flight, only one of the 18 mice onboard the Endeavor playfully and contentedly floated in zero gravity. The rest clung to the cage. The values of being small, useful, solving problems, and working hard–as opposed to being big and strong–will inspire young readers. The bibliography is outstanding as is the kid-friendly list of Internet sources featuring sites with games and videos. (School Library Journal)

In an afterword, former astronaut Kelly (who is also the husband of Gabrielle Giffords) recalls that on his first Endeavor flight, the research mice on board would have nothing to do with weightlessness and clung to the mesh of their cage for the entire mission—except one, “smaller than the rest, [who] seemed to enjoy the experience and effortlessly floated around the cage.” Inspired by this real-life mouse, Kelly’s first children’s book tells the story of Meteor, a lightly anthropomorphized rodent who turns his tininess into an advantage when an important key gets stuck in a crack between two monitors. The understated, quietly intense prose (“ ‘This isn’t good,’ says the commander. ‘We need that key back’ ”) is just right for the particular breed of hero that is the American astronaut, and the narrative stakes are just high enough for the younger end of the target audience. Payne (Hide-and-Squeak) contributes muscular, handsomely textured images and vivid portraits that make it absolutely clear that space travel is a larger-than-life adventure. Ages 4–8. (Publishers Weekly)

Here the mouse is headed in the opposite direction. This first children’s book by Kelly, a retired astronaut and husband of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, builds on his experience with real mice aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. Eighteen of them. In this winning story there are six, and as the smallest one, Meteor gets to perform his own special mission. After helping the astronauts out of a potential Apollo 13 calamity, Meteor is declared a hero—sure to please many fellow pipsqueaks back on Earth. (The New York Times Book Reivew)

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Customer Reviews

Illustrations are great and what a cute story.
Julia
Great story to read with young kids and older ones can read on their own.
kimba1960
Her son is just two and finds this book exciting.
Susan Redford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pearlman on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Astronaut Mark Kelly has crafted a charming tale (or should that be, "tail") inspired by the mice that flew with him on his first spaceflight, mission STS-108 on space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Together with illustrator C.F. Payne's wonderful images, "Mousetronaut" should launch kids' dreams of floating in space.

"Mousetronaut" looks to be a great way to introduce young children to the concept of spaceflight and how teamwork is the "key" to mission success.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many space adventures for Meteor, the Mousetronaut.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Whymsy Likes Books on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My brother and sister-in-law sent my girls this book purely because of the name according to my brother. My girls (5 and 2 1/2) were delighted with the adventures of Meteor the Mouse. This book was a fun, imaginative story with interesting pictures and a great way to introduce the idea of space flight in a way kids can absorb. After the main story there is a section on how a real mouse on one of Mark Kelly's Endeavour Missions inspired the story as well as some of the history behind space flight and some of the necessities that go with space travel.

For the full review and others visit whymsylikesbooks dot blogspot dot com
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jaclyn on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, very cute. Gotta get the kids interested in the Space program, and this book will definitely help. I like that it's even a semi-true story!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Jones on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A space mission is getting ready to leave, and everyone is excited. Along with all the astronauts, six mice will get to go on the mission as well. Meteor is the smallest of the mice, and he really wants to go on the mission so he has been working really hard. When it is time to decide, five of the biggest and strongest mice are chosen, but because of his hard work so is Meteor.

During the space mission the key to the control panel gets stuck in a crack. None of the astronauts can get it out, but Meteor is small and wants to be helpful. Will Meteor save the mission?

Mousetronaut is perfect for the budding astronaut with striking illustrations and a fun storyline. Written by Astronaut Mark Kelly, Mousetronaut is inspired by one of the mice on his first mission in space aboard the Endeavour in 2001. Included at the end of the book is a brief afterword by Mark Kelly that includes a brief history of the space program and life as an astronaut.

Recommended for readers age 4-8.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denise on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a cute story and as for my two boys, they love everything space shuttle. We enjoyed the story and it helps with make believe play too (spoiler alert: they find a play key and suddenly they are heros!). It is lacking in quality dialogue, which I think is what makes a children's story. If you like wonderful stories for kids about mice check out Broderick and Ben and Me. These are much more rich.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Finnegan on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the idea of bring this vast subject in a cute compact children's book that everyone will find reasons to love. I bought it because my 4-year-old son told me we were going into space, so I thought this would be an excellent substitute for the real deal. I also bought one for his preschool because he shared his with them and they went nuts for it. They have now made it into an everyday adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Miyafuji on April 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My almost 4 year old son loves this book. For his preschool, I bring in books for the kids every two weeks and this was also a hit with those kids. I think the little kids relate to the little mouse in the story and appreciate that he's a hero. My son's favorite part is the take-off part with the countdown. This book got him really interested in space ships, which is great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MilesMom on March 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son received this book as a gift from a friend. He loves the idea of outer space. This was a very sweet story about how someone small can do big things. I loved it so much that I bought it as a present and for my son's classroom.
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