It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Astro! And he’s picking up speed fast. Oh No, Astro! written by Matt Roeser and illustrated by Brad Woodard is filled with fun words, stellar illustrations, and space-y facts, all sure to enthuse future space cadets. And to top it off, the humor will have little ones laughing from cover to cover. Grab your telescope and prepare for some serious gushing. I love this book!
Synopsis: Grumpy Astro has preferred his personal outer space since the beginning of time. But when a pesky satellite bumps him off his orbit, Astro shoots through space. As he gathers speed and approaches Earth, Astro fears the worst: confrontation! Will he stop? Will he crash? Get the book to learn how it all ends.
Roeser’s language choices are out of this world. This PB is filled with spot-on alliterations that really move the story forward. Some of my favorites? “GOOD GRAVITY!” and “rotating rogue” and “certainly smaller, but still.” Roeser also uses a smaller word count to pace spreads where Astro is shown moving fast. For example, as he zooms past Mars, the only words on the spread are “Hi, Mars! Bye, Mars!” and Mars’ bewildered response of “Um…”
That brings me to the next reason I love this PB: so many LOL moments! The humor is like a bright star on every page that left me smiling. Astro’s grumpy tone coupled with his bad luck makes for one funny ride. (Don’t worry, folks. Astro will be more than fine by the end of the book.) And his reactions to his own plight make the story that much more hilarious. For example, as he begins to spin, he crosses his arms and says, “This. Is. Humiliating.”
I also really appreciated that Roeser continued the humor into the back matter. Even as he answers questions about space and asteroids, he finds a way to make the reader smile. His closing to the paragraph that addresses the discolored flag on the moon: “If you ever visit the Moon, bring a new flag, or at least take a selfie with the old one.”
The illustrations in this PB are vibrant and fun. Woodard does a dynamite job of bringing the text to life. By using bright colors against a black, starry background, not only do the pictures resemble space, but they also pop off the page and pull the reader straight into the story. I especially enjoyed the colorful streaks dragging behind Astro to show his speed. It shows the reader just how fast Astro moves (and how unhappy he is about it).
Seriously, you all need to read this book. Oh No, Astro! will take you on a journey through space and have you laughing the whole way. And you’ll learn fun facts about space, too. It’s a win-win for everyone.