New book alert! Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max – a delightful and educational picture book for young readers interested in space travel
 More about the book!

Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max is out now from Jacana Media, in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu!

The stars are the limit for a little girl who acts out her wish to be an astronaut – inspired by a very special person.

Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember.

‘I want to be an astronaut!’ she says to everyone who will listen.

While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission – like being in zero gravity (‘I can do that all day long!’ she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets.

When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favourite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been?

Channelling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending. The book also includes some fun facts about pioneering women astronauts from the 20th century.

‘Wilson-Max hits the trifecta with a nurturing primary-caregiver father and a successful STEM-career mother heading this loving family of colour. The simple, present-tense text questions none of these things, normalizing them for a preschool audience. His characteristic black-lined, painterly acrylics place this family in a cosy home complete with dog. Backmatter offers some further information, most notably a timeline of women, including women of colour, in space. A girl-power book that any child will enjoy.’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘Wilson-Max, who grew up in Zimbabwe and studied design in London, offers a playful, conversational text and bold, vibrant acrylic paintings, which depict Astrid and her parents with brown skin and black hair. The illustrated back matter introduces five notable women astronauts from India, Russia, the UK, and the US (including Shannon Lucid and Mae Jemison), along with a few facts related to space travel. First published in England, this picture book offers an inclusive, worldwide vision of astronauts for all little children who dream of space travel.’ – Booklist Online

About the author

Born in Zimbabwe, Ken Wilson-Max lives in London. He has written and illustrated over 50 books for children. He also illustrates things for grow-ups and businesses and publishes work from other creators through Alanna Max.

As a younger man, Ken made stories from what he saw in his travels. He was excited and so the work was exciting. As he became more experienced and familiar with his surroundings, he saw that everyone had a story to tell. He became determined to inspire others to tell theirs. He found this made his stories much better. It also allowed him to experiment and learn. Since 2014, he’s also been publishing the Chicken Newspaper for children all over the world.

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags Astro Girl Childrens books Childrens literature Ken Wilson-Max New books New releases

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