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Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story



Last updated Friday, April 5, 2013

Author: Mark Kelly
Illustrator: C. F. Payne
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 1442458240
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2013

Synopsis: Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with “mice-tronauts” on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes—and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, Mousetronaut is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!

Note to readers:
•  Read the afterword at the end of the story for discussion ideas!

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever seen a space shuttle? Have you visited the Endeavour?
•  Would it be fun to be an astronaut?

Vocabulary:
•  NASA- the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the space program and related research.
•  Astronaut- someone who travels into space
•  Meteor- also known as a shooting star, a visible streak of light from space debris that's the result of heat as it enters a planet's atmosphere
•  Experiments- a test to examine whether or not something is true
•  Gravity- the force of attraction that keeps us from floating off into space!

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Would you be scared to go into space?
•  Have you ever been picked to do something even though you were smaller than others?
•  Have your parents ever misplaced keys? How did they find them?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a space shuttle from paper towel rolls
•  Cut out shapes to make a mousetronaut face. You can cut out circles for the ears and triangles for the face. Use yarn or pipecleaners for the whiskers!
•  Make a mission patch for your astronaut suit using construction paper!

Special activities:
•  Pretend to walk like an astronaut

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!