Reviews for Mae among the stars

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Pioneering African-American astronaut Mae Jemison's childhood love of space and supportive parents led to her illustrious career.Little Mae's pastoral childhood home is presented in warm yellows, blues, and greens, visually establishing the atmosphere promoted by her loving parents, who encourage her dreams. When Mae's school assignment asks her to write about what she wants to be when she grows up, Mae responds that she wants to see Earth from space. Her parents tell her she must become an astronaut to do that, and when Mae asks if they think she can, their response weaves its way throughout the narrative: "Of course you can. If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible." Thus begins Mae's obsession with space: reading about space, creating homemade astronaut costumes and spaceships, and drawing spacescapes. But when she shares her dreams in school, her white teacher discourages her, and her mostly white classmates laugh. Mae is crestfallen, her despondency captured with deceptively simple lines and a blue wash. Her dismay is short-lived, as she is buoyed up by her parents' continued support and encouragement. Uplifted, Mae promises to wave to her parents from space one dayand she does just that, as the first African-American astronaut.An enchanting, inspirational account of Jemison's early life that illustrates the importance of encouraging and supporting children's dreams. (biographical note) (Picture book/biography. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Ahmed's first children's book presents a vague fictional portrait of a young Mae Jemison, whose parents support her dream of becoming an astronaut; their advice ("If you can dream it, if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible") becomes the book's refrain. Ahmed hints at the sexist attitudes Jemison was up against: Mae's classmates laugh when she reveals that she wants to be an astronaut, and her skeptical teacher tells her, "Nursing would be a good profession for someone like you." Newcomer Burrington's spare illustrations combine watery splashes of color with collaged elements; her characters' rounded heads and minimal facial features give them an emoji-like appearance but don't do much to bring emotion to the story. An afterword provides some details about Jemison's career and various firsts she accomplished, including becoming the first African-American woman in space, but this is less a picture book biography than a generic ode to persistence and dreaming big, loosely tied to Jemison's life. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Margaret Riley King, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Aqueous watercolor backgrounds and sweet, round-faced figures illustrate this empowering account of the childhood of Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. As a child, Mae dreams big, telling anyone who'll listen (and even some who won't) that she wants to be an astronaut. Her white teacher and classmates are cruelly dismissive, but her parents are always encouraging, telling her, If you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible. That exhortation becomes a mantra, and after years of hard work, Mae makes good on her aspirations and waves to her parents from her spaceship. Ahmed focuses primarily on Mae's childhood dreams of space, skipping over the hard work she did to finally achieve her goal, but a closing note fills in some details about Jemison's groundbreaking career. Burrington's cute, playful paintings match the dreamy focus of the story, particularly her star-splattered nighttime scenes. Though kids looking for a meatier account of Jemison's work might be disappointed, the inspirational tone will strike the right note for those just learning about the astronaut.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Young Mae Jemison's parents encourage her dreams of being an astronaut, but her teacher suggests that Mae consider becoming a nurse instead. Inspired by the childhood of the first African American woman in space, this fictionalized picture book should inspire young readers to believe in and work hard for their dreams despite obstacles. The ink and digital illustrations capture Mae's enthusiasm and determination. Author's note included. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

K-Gr 2-Born in Alabama, Mae Jemison dreamed of going to space. When she grew up, she attained a degree in chemical engineering before finishing medical school in the 1980s. After a stint in the Peace Corps, Jemison wasn't content with just being an engineer or doctor-she satisfied her love of the stars by becoming an astronaut-the first African American female astronaut and the first African American woman in space. Ahmed and Burrington have created a love letter to Jemison with this appealing picture book biography. The recurring line, "If you can dream it, if you believe in it, and work hard for it, anything is possible" is a chorus sure to resonate with children. The emphasis on Jemison's lifelong passion for space science will inspire readers to have confidence in the trajectory of their own interests. Burrington's bright, kid-friendly illustrations were created with ink and Adobe Photoshop. An epilogue provides the dates and details of Jemison's life and career. VERDICT A starry addition to picture book biography collections.-Deidre -Winterhalter, Oak Park Public Library, IL Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Back