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I Want to Be an Astronaut Paperback – February 28, 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Blast-off! Up into the shy goes the space shuttle. Into orbit, the astronauts get a taste of ready-to-eat food, experience zero gravity, go for space walks, and even fix a satellite. It's fun to fly aboard the shuttle...and then come back to earth.

‘A young girl declares her longing to ‘fly on the shuttle into outer space.’ The familiar acts of eating, sleeping, and working become intense and special as she and the rest of the crew go about their business. The illustrations positively glow in this simple, lyrical picture book that will have nearly everyone off and flying.’ —SLJ.

Notable Children's Book of 1988 (ALA)
1988 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1988 (NYT)
Oustanding Science Trade Books for Children 1988 (NSTA/CBC)

About the Author

Byron Barton is the creator of many picture books for young children, including My Car, Building a House, and Little Red Hen.



Byron Barton is the creator of many picture books for young children, including My Car, Building a House, and Little Red Hen.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 100L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (February 28, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064432807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064432801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Typical Byron Barton cartoon-illustrations with his typical simple text. This time around he uses phrases "I want to�" followed by various actions of astronauts who fly a space shuttle into space to do various astronaut tasks: working, eating, sleeping, etc. Simple text, adored by my son.
Barton's books are a staple in our family. There is just something about the illustrations that my children love. The words, although simple, still capture the and hold the attention of my four year old.
Female astronauts and people of various ethnicity's are represented.
Regarding the age recommendation that some reviewers are discussing, I want to add that since infancy, my son has loved Barton's books, whether they are board versions or regular paper versions. This book is loved by my less than one year-old son, and continues to enthrall my now 4 year-old son, who does have a fascination with space and astronauts. I would recommend this book for babies who don't rip regular paper books, and for 4 year-olds and maybe 5 year-olds who especially love space. If the older child is *not* especially interested in all things space they may be bored with the simple text.
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Format: Paperback
As a former elementary school teacher, I'm very familiar with the work of Byron Barton and his appeal toward young children. When my own son became interested in space, I knew he'd love this book. The illustrations are detailed but large-perfect for the young eye and provide plenty to talk about to extend the book. This book even makes me want to be an astronaut!
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Format: Board book
This book was presented as appropriate for 4-8 year olds. Amazon needs to re-classify this book for 2-3 year olds. This was the first time I regretted my purchase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The back of this book says for kids 4-8, but I think it should be for kids 0-2. Each page has about 4-6 words on it and one page has no words on it. My 5 year old didn't enjoy this book at all. It was way over simplified and didn't tell a story. The pictures were ok but it was not at all what I was expecting. This probably should have been a board book and not a real book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title for this review may seem damning, but I think it is justified considering that this book states that it is for children ages four through eight. We bought this for my 2-year old daughter since she was going to be an astronaut for Halloween. It is not a bad book for small children and we appreciate the subject matter, but there is not much story or content. Each of the pages contains simple, color drawings with only a few words that are typically a part of a longer sentence that you must turn the page several times to finish. I guess the good news for anyone that is annoyed by having a single sentence stretched out over several pages is that you need not dwell on each page for long since the pictures are simplistic enough to take in at a glance.

There isn't a story, plot, moral, or anything very educational within this book. I'd say the only redeeming value is the subject matter.

I don't think an 8-year old child would find this book very engaging, but younger children may enjoy it.
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By Robin on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I raised two boys on this book - it was their favorite when they were little. Now they are in college and I have a 16 month girl. This has already become her favorite. When we do the bed time routine she goes right for this book every night!
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Format: Paperback
"I Want to Be an Astronaut" is another good entry in the series of young children's books by Byron Barton. This one opens, "I want to be an astronaut, a member of the crew." Such simple text is combined with Barton's distinctive illustrations. Bright, solid colors and heavy outlines combine to create figures that have an iconic feel; his pictures make me think of a sort of modern variation on Mayan hieroglyphics.
In the book we see the space shuttle taking off; astronauts working, eating, and sleeping in zero gravity; a cutaway view of the shuttle; etc. Nice touches include a view of earth from space and the portrayal of a multi-ethnic shuttle crew. Recommended for small kids.
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Format: Library Binding
My kids all loved this as they were groing up , and could probably recite it still.
the last line of the poem " I just want to be an astronaut and visit outer space" becomes more poignant over the years and still brings a lump to the throat .
This is not just a book for children , it is an elegy for the dreams of those who grew up in the time of the Apollo missions, and saw them turn to dust.....

And, the illustrations are great - simple , and easy for the kids to copy.

Buy this book for the children you want to see go to the stars.
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