Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson and Nick East
I love all things spacey and science fictiony. I lay the blame on Roald Dahl and the Great Glass Elevator and his wacky Vermicious Knids. This love has now merged into a unhealthy collection of Kurt Vonnegut, John Wyndham, Jules Verne and Star Trek movies – what I like to call the clever person’s Star Wars! (I’ll be divorced by tomorrow if my husband reads that bit – lol).
But my toddler (Miss Beany – 2 and a half years old) needed no encouragement. She went to see a puppet show version of The Way Back Home (Oliver Jeffers) about a boy who rescues an alien and she was hooked. Now all she talks about is being an astronaut and finding aliens. In the last week she has realised that a pull up nappy over the head looks remarkably like a space-helmet. We had a big fight trying to wrestle that off her at bedtime. She now goes to sleep mumbling about picnics on the moon.
Finding suitable space books to read to her has been hard as most are too complex or too basic. Goodnight Spaceman, however, is perfect.
- This is a book about two boys whole love all things space and are saying goodnight to their spaceman dad, aboard the International Space Station.
The Nuts and Bolts?
- This was inspired by astronaut Tim Peake (the first British ESA astronaut!) and his sons. What would they be thinking and doing while their dad was whizzing far away above their heads in space.
- The pride the whole country felt for Tim was immeasurable. It was made even better that he seemed so generous with his time and willingness to connect with anyone and everyone interested in space.
Mummy’s Favourite Bits?
- Beautiful big pictures and glowing stars. Plus, I like all the lovely detail inside the space station.
- Also the subtle amount of science that is dropped into the rhymes. “Goodnight rocket ships and shooting stars, Saturn, Venus and Mars.”
Miss Beany’s Favourite Bits?
- Miss Beany loved the two children in the spacesuits. “That’s me mummy, and that’s daddy and that’s mummy and that’s ME.”
Not So Favourite Bits?
- I just wanted it to be longer!
- You can get baby rocket ships…I think Miss Beany meant the capsule that separates from the main rocket.
Miss Beany: “Mummy I grow bigger and bigger and be astronaut, and daddy be astronaut and mummy be astronaut and go have picnic on moon and see aliens.”
Mummy: “That sounds lovely darling. What do aliens eat?”
Miss Beany: “Blueberries”
Mummy: “And what colour are they?”
The Mummy Score?
- 10/10. Beautiful images and wonderful rhyming phrases.
The Toddler Score?
- 9/10 – One mark off for no aliens.