Library Media Connection-February 2011
Harvey uses simple language to tell Astro's story, and the illustrations are realistic and colorful. This book provides many opportunities for class discussion about animal bonding and the impact man has on animal species. Although the text is simple enough for beginning readers, students in any gradecan appreciate the story. This is a book for all school and public libraries.
-Charlotte Decker, Librarian, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

School Library Journal-September 2010
Harvey tells a gentle tale of an orphaned Steller sea lion pup whose early imprinting on his human nurturers at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, leaves him determinedly reluctant to live in the wild on any terms. Bersani’s nearly photographic illustrations keep perfect time with the simple text, showing the pup returning to the center each time he is released. Adults will cheer at the “For Creative Minds” section, replete with activities, maps, further data, and advice on linking with a website for more curriculum-oriented exploration
.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Booklist-2010

A touching, informative introduction to the species.

Know: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids-May 2011
The one word I would use to describe this book is cool!

3rd Grade Reading-Nov 2012
This delightful book is perfect for third grade readers. The writing is a good fit for a third grade reading level, and children will enjoy the warm and bright full-color illustrations. The book could also be an inspiring read aloud as well as a great source for reading and writing activities in a unit on sea life. Extensive back matter includes information on Steller sea lions and a map activity centered around the events in Astro’s life, and more free resources are available from the publisher online. These features add to the book’s classroom value. Astro the Steller Sea Lion would be a perfect addition to any third grade reading list.
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MyMCBooks Blog-May 2012
Steller Sea  Lions are a threatened species that live in the northern Pacific. And this story is based on real events about a sea lion named Astro that became so accustomed to humans that he was so afraid to return back to the sea.  He has not seen the ocean since he was a few days old. And the volunteers from the Marine Mammal Center were getting worried that he was going to starve. Every time the volunteers take Astro out to sea he kept finding his way back toSan Francisco.
Go to review online

The Marine Mammal Center knew Astro wouldn’t be able to adapt to the wildlife so a permanent home was found for him at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. This is a heartwarming and educational story that will captivate children of all ages.

The last few pages of the book includes a section called “For Creative Minds” which has all sort of information about the steller sea lions, why there are threatened and endangered. Where in the world? A map activity! Steller sea lion life cycle and the different between a sea lion and a seal

Book Scoops-February 2012
Jeanne’s debut as a Picture Book Author is well-done. She has some definite teaching skills, which Arbordale has definitely taken proper advantage of. And illustrator Shennen Bersani’s pictures leave me wishing for a vacation to the coast right now.  It’s amazing how realistic her illustrations are done- especially when you know that she uses colored pencils, crayons and paint. I’m impressed!
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Book Loons-December 2011
Jeanne Walker Harvey marks her picture-book debut with Astro: The Steller Sea Lion, a chronicle of an orphaned sea lion. Illustrator Shennen Bersani's skill with mixed-media technique of colored pencils, crayons, and paints complements the story. Bersani's illustrations are life-photographs, superbly blended with background and scenery. Astro: The Steller Sea Lion is a heartwarming, endearing story based on real-life events.
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Pragmatic Mom-July 2011
I must have been reading Dude and Betty in the same bedtime story  sitting because I thought that Astro was a steller sea lion not a Steller Sea Lion, i.e. the actual name of his species. Astro is a stellar beast so I suppose he’s aptly named. He’s also one hard sea lion to return to sea. This is a true story of rescue baby sea lion and what happened to him. The good news: he lives at the Marine Mammal Center in Mystic Connecticut which is just a few hours from where we live. We can visit him! [non-fiction picture book, ages 5-10]
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An Island Life-July 2011
My son is 4 and he has brought me this book quite a few times in the last few weeks as his book of choice before nap time.   I like how the story is told simply, but accurately with only a few words that I had to explain to him.  The pictures are an intriguing cross between real life and artist renderings, but they go with the words on each page and illustrate the story well.Overall, we highly recommend this book, especially as an addition to a science lesson on marine mammals!
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Lit for Kids-June 2011
This true story of one rescued orphan stellar sea lion is beautifully written with simply unbelievably gorgeous illustrations. They are so life-like, I originally thought they were photographs, or possible mixed media of photos and colored pencils. 
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Litland.com-June 2011
Astro’s story is heartwarming and the illustrations are fabulous. The story helps us to understand why his life events turned out as it did, and yet it is neither boring nor drawn out. The story is captivating, emotions shine through both words and pictures, and the young reader will not realize they are learning while reading (parents will like it too!).
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Children's Book Review-April 2011
The mixed-media illustrations by Bersani, at first glance, are of photographic quality and match the tone of the story well, adding depth and sentiment to Harvey’s words. The text is well placed and large, making it easy to read. Children will be fascinated by Astro’s touching story and the back matter makes it a great choice for homeschoolers or the classroom.
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Moms Inspire Learning-April 2011
Before I even read the true story, I just had to take a close look at the illustrations. Some of them were so life-like that they could have been real photographs, so I just had to find out what materials were used to create them. The illustrator explained that she used colored pencils and some paint. The end result is unlike anything I'd ever seen before in a picture book. The level of detail is truly extraordinary.

Do you ever take a picture walk before you read a book with your child? It's a great way to spark interest and talk about what the book might be about.

And as expected, the writing is the icing on the cake. It's the heartwarming story of a Steller sea lion pup, which loses his mother just a few days after he is born, and is rescued by a scientist from The Marine Mammal Center in California.
Talk about a picture book that brings the real world right to your doorstep!
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Larkspur Corte-Madera Patch-April 2011
The children at the Corte Madera Library story time had lots of FUN hearing about Astro’s adventures and will hold a special place in their hearts for this playful Bay Area born sea lion
.
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Jean Little Library-April 2011
There are only a couple general information books out there on sea lions and this title makes a nice addition to the limited information and will pique kids' interest in these fascinating animals. Take a look at your collection on marine mammals and if you only have a few titles, or outdated materials, I would recommend adding Astro when you update this section. It's a real child-pleaser!

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The Book Chook-March 2011
Shennen Bersani’s illustrations deliver a realistic feel and heartfelt emotion. Combined with Jeanne Walker Harvey’s text based on true events, the reader is guided through the process of rescuing an orphaned sea lion and the torn emotions of the many rescuers that helped Astro survive.

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Marin Mommies-March 2011
Kids will love the heartwarming tale of poor lost Astro, and budding marine biologists will relish the detail spent in describing what goes on behind the scenes at the Marine Mammal Center. Illustrator Shennen Bersani's vibrant illustrations feature some landscapes that will be familiar to Marin readers, and kids should have fun seeing some familiar places in the book.

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Write Brained Teacher-March 2011
Astro the Steller Sea Lion isn't your typical non-fiction book. (Although your non-fiction fans will delight in the charts, graphs, and other non-fiction conventions in the back of the book and will, no doubt, enjoy the tale of Astro.) Rather, it reads more like a narrative. It has a character you'll fall in love with and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harvey's craftful writing, combined with the beautiful illustrations of Shennen Bersani, make this an absolute must-have addition to your non-fiction library.

As a teacher of writers, Astro the Steller Sea Lion serves as a reminder that non-fiction can have heart. Why not help students turn a big idea, like Steller Sea Lions, into a more specific and manageable topic? If you're planning for students to research and write a non-fiction piece, encourage them to follow Harvey's lead. Rather than writing about elephants, write about Ruby. Rather than researching dolphins, write specifically about Pelorus Jack. Sometimes real life gives us the best stories, we just have to look for them.

Red Hot Eyebrows-March 2011
What my kids and I loved best about this book was how lovable Astro is, both through Harvey’s descriptions and illustrator Shennen Bersani’s lifelike, almost photographic illustrations.  We all agreed that if we found ourselves in Connecticut, we were going to have to pay a visit to Astro.
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Books 4 Learning-March 2011
Author Jeanne Walker Harvey brings this remarkable and beloved sea lion’s story to students all over the country.  Realistic pictures accompany the fascinating narrative.  This book is especially conducive to teachable moments and the classroom instruction.  Families and students are sure to enjoy this story!

Sit a While-February 2011
There are a few ways I can tell whether a book resonates with the H's.  Do they ask to have it read to them frequently?  Do they re-read it again to their stuffed animals and baby dolls?  And last, do they want to take it along with them when we go to Starbucks?

Astro passed all three.

The importance of taking care of Astro and putting him in an environment that is appropriate for him might've gone over their heads as we read the story over and over.  However, the great thing about this story is that it will resonante with children on several different levels.  Harper, who's 2, loved looking at the pictures of Astro when he was playing with the rubber duck and the balls.  Hadley, who's 4, loved listening to the story as she colored and would put her hand on my hand when she wanted to stop and study a picture or ask a question.  As they get older, they'll understand the work and care that went into keeping Astro safe. 

As for me, I really liked Astro, and I rarely connect with animals.  I'm more of a "don't bother me I won't bother you" kind of gal when it comes to animals.  But I loved Astro.  His swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge, and running onto a field of kids to say hello made me smile.  I loved that he showed what he wanted and where he felt most safe. 

I hope we can visit Astro sometime in his new home in Connecticut.
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Everead-February 2011
This was a sweet children's book sent to me by its author to read and share with my son and review on the blog. Spencer asked lots of questions as I read, and I quite liked the colorful illustrations, so all in all, an enjoyable read, especially for any kids out there interested in marine life.
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Papertrails Family Blog-February 2011
Thanks, Jeanne for sharing this incredible story of hope and friendship with the world!

Shelf-Employed-February 2011
Astro: The Steller Sea Lion is an engaging teaching tool for readers and students seeking to learn about animal rescue, Steller sea lions, or threatened species.  Astro's unique adventures make his story as entertaining as it is informative.

This is an attractive and informative book that will appeal to students, teachers, and marine life enthusiasts.
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Chronicles of an Infant Bibliophile-February 2011
I grew up in New England, and our family had a membership to the Mystic Aquarium.  The sea lion show is a wonderful childhood memory of mine, and I was able to bring the Bibliophile there last year on vacation.  So, we were thrilled to read this book, and both enjoyed it very much.  The Bibliophile is 3, and probably a bit on the young side for it, but he sat through the whole book and said he liked it.  I thought that the author did a nice job conveying a story that could have come across as a bit sad in a gentle, even amusing, way.  The illustrations by Shennen Bersani are beautiful-very realistic and vibrant.
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Pink Me-February 2011

It's a simple story, perfect for the picture book format. The reader learns something about Steller sea lions (named after my man Georg Steller, a naturalist/explorer from the bad old days when a zoologist's field notes might include the description "tastes great!"), but the real stars of this book are Astro's caretakers and trainers. Many of them volunteers, they are shown capturing, feeding, training, and transporting Astro. They use simple equipment, they mind their fingers, their eyes are on the animal at all times, they lift with their knees and not their back.

These routinized behaviors convey respect for the animal and indicate the expertise of the handlers. Any kid who pipes up with, "Veterinarian!" when asked what he wants to be when he grows up will admire this discipline.

Credit has to go to Shennen Bersani for these depictions. She traveled to each facility which had hosted Astro, and clearly took her time observing the personnel. I've admired Ms Bersani's realistic portrait-like illustrations of people before, notably in My Sister, Alicia May, but in this book she gets to demonstrate her talent for landscape as well.

An all-around winner, terrific for the classroom, with its photocopy-ready For Creative Minds activity and info pages in the back (also available on the Arbordale website), but also a book for an individual animal lover to cherish.
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Mad Chatter-February 2011
Astro is a must have for all elementary school libraries and public library children's collections. Great combination of a read aloud worthy picture book story supplemented by information on Steller Sea Lions. Teachers and Internet savvy kids will love the online content as well. This is a superb example of how the picture book can span the gap between storytime and the curriculum.

Marin Magazine-January 2011
Read this to your six-year-old ... and get captivated.  Astro was found on a beach, raised by Sausalito’s Marin Mammal Center for 10 months, released to the open sea – and kept coming back to humanity.


Cape Cod Times/ The Garden Island/ The BookwormSez.com- November 2010

What would you do if you ever got lost?
If it’s ever happened, you know how scary it is. You look around, and nothing seems familiar. Everything is different, and you can’t find the person you were with. The good news is that there’s always an adult around to help you find your way.
In the new book “Astro: The Steller Sea Lion” by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Shennen Bersani, adults come to the rescue of a baby sea lion. But he’s not very keen on going back home.

When Astro – who is a special sea lion called a Steller sea lion – was just a few days old, he got lost. His mother was nowhere to be found, so a scientist near the California coast took the little guy to The Marine Mammal Center, where Astro would be safe.
Because he was hungry, his new friends at the Center fed Astro with a special smoothie made of ground fish, salmon oil, and whipped cream. You probably wouldn’t like a glass of that, but it tasted good to Astro.

A few months later, Astro was big and strong enough to go back to the ocean. His human friends took him to the beach, but Astro didn’t want to leave. He seemed afraid of the water, so he joined the elephant seals there. That wasn’t a good situation for a sea lion, so Astro’s friends took him back to the Center.
They tried to release Astro into the middle of the ocean.

They tried to release him to another island.

They tried to coax him towards the bay, but Astro was having none of that. He kept returning to places where there were humans. He wanted to be with people, not other sea lions!
So everyone decided that Astro could stay with people, but he couldn’t stay at The Marine Mammal Center. The Center was for sick animals, and Astro was healthy and strong. So where could a young Steller sea lion – one small member of a threatened species – go to live?

How about way across the country, from one corner to the other?

Got ecology-minded little ones in your herd?  “Astro: The Steller Sea Lion” will make them yip with glee.

Based on a true story with real people and a real Center, author Jeanne Walker Harvey tells the tale of one baby animal that was saved through quick intervention. Kids will love hearing about Astro and his travels, and they’ll enjoy knowing that they can visit the real Astro at an aquarium.

Though older (and more curious) kids will enjoy the bonus back-of-book information on Steller sea lions, habitats, and life cycles, the amazingly realistic illustrations by Shennen Bersani will probably be what draws small children to this story. Be sure to take a peek yourself during read-alouds. You’ll be amazed.

While this is, indeed, a picture book, I think any animal-loving child up to age 9 would be happy having it. For them, “Astro: The Steller Sea Lion” is something to get lost in.
Go to review online
-Terry Schlichenmeyer

Examiner.com: San Francisco-September 2010

A few years ago a Steller sea lion was found orphaned on an island off the northern California coast. With the intervention of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, that sea lion pup survived and became the inspiration for the children's book, Astro The Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey and Shennen Bersani.

Astro The Steller Sea Lion tells the story of how Astro was found and cared for until he was ready to be released back into the ocean. However, Astro had other ideas and kept returning to land and the people who had cared for him. Through the determination of the staff of the Marine Mammal Center and other marine mammal-friendly organizations, Astro was able to be trained to live happily and safely away from the ocean that is his natural habitat.

This is a great book for children of all ages. It can be used to teach about marine mammals and the care that is provided when they are unable to return to their natural environment. Along with the engaging story of Astro, the illustrations are amazing and incredibly realistic. Author Jeanne Walker Harvey lives in Marin County and has written several articles about marine animals. Illustrator Shennen Bersani is from the Boston, Massachusetts area and most often uses colored pencils, crayons, and paint to create her artwork.

Besides the amazing story of Astro, this book also includes an educational section that provides information on Steller sea lions and links to Arbordale Publishing's interactive quizzes, teaching activities, and other websites to extend the learning of Astro The Steller Sea Lion.

This book is available online at powells.com and barnesandnoble.com and at independent retailers like the northern California ones listed here.
-Cindi Rose
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Sacramento Book Review-December 2010
"I was captured by this book from first glance. Illustrator Shennen Bersani used a mixed media treatment to create illustrations that play tricks with you. Are they photographs? Are they paintings? The realism is attention grabbing. The story is a balance of an “aahh, how cute” tale of a sea lion who wants to live with people, and technical facts about sea lions. In addition to the story, there are four pages of facts and activities that relate to sea lions. Those extras are welcome in a classroom setting but also contribute to making a book more than a one-time read in a home library. This is Jeanne Walker Harvey’s first book and I hope more follow — collaborating with Bersani, I hope." -Jodi Webb

For Immediate Release Reviews-September 2010
Steller Sea Lions are a threatened species that live in the northern Pacific.  Stellar means outstanding, immense or a star performer. Astro fits both of these definitions, so he's actually a stellar Steller sea lion! This is a very real story about a sea lion rescue that has been beautifully illustrated and adapted into a picture book.   

A scientist found young Astro, separated from his mother, on an island off the coast of California. He was much too young (he still had part of his umbilical cord attached) to survive alone, so he became a pampered guest at The Marine Mammal Center. There he was nursed back to health, literally, fed from a baby bottle filled with a herring/salmon oil/whipped cream smoothie.  I know, blech, but not for a sea lion.

When Astro reached ten months of age, he was returned to the ocean. Unfortunately, nobody asked Astro's thoughts about this plan. After each release, of which there were several, he doggedly managed to find his way back to the Center. His friends there were terribly sad when they realized he had been rescued too young and had grown attached to humans. Because Astro would be unable to adapt to the wild, a permanent home was found for him at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. 

The illustrations in this book are so very realistic that I had to study them quite closely before I was sure they really were drawings and not photographs. I know that seems dim-witted, but they really are that good.  This is a wonderful story of how humans go the distance to help animals and ensure they are (or in this case, are not) able to survive on their own after human intervention.  The last four pages of the book comprise an educational section with great technical information on Steller Sea Lions, including maps and a life cycle.  I like that this an interesting story that is wrapped up with some useful methods of teaching children more about this species - very useful!
- Jennifer Kuhlman
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Amazon.com-September 2010

So right up front I have to say that the reason I even picked up Astro: The Steller Sea Lion (Steller is a kind of sea lion) is because I am in love with Shennen Bersani's art. She has illustrated many children's books and I confess, I seek out her work because it is bright and engaging and real.

That being said, I also love the story that Bersani's true-to-life drawings capture. Astro is a few days old when he is found hungry and alone on a California island. He's taken to The Marine Mammal Center, where he is loved and cared for. When he is big and well enough his caretakers attempt to return him to the ocean.

But Astro wants to stay with them. They try again and again but Astro is determined.

The best part of this story? It's all true. Astro, the real stellar sea lion lives at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.

This is an ideal book for young children not only because it shows in pictures and words the power of research and medical intervention but also the power of love.

A colorful appendix gives kids information about the life cycle of the Steller sea lion and shows how to tell the difference between a sea lion and a seal.

An excellent book all around!!
-Beverly Beckham
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Growing with Science-August 2010
Today let’s use the recently released book  Astro:  The Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey and Illustrated by Shennen Bersani to explore an interesting sea mammal.

Astro, who was orphaned at birth and raised by humans, has become an ambassador for his species. If we could interview Astro, here’s what he might have to say:

Interviewer (from now on in bold): Can you start by you telling our audience what kind of animal you are?
Astro (plain text):  I am a Steller sea lion.

Does that mean you are stellar, like a star?
No, my species is named for Mr. George Wilhelm Steller, a famous explorer and naturalist who discovered us in Alaska in 1741.

I have been to California and seen California sea lions, are you one of those?
No, my species tends to be larger and lighter colored. We are also much less common. In fact, those of us that live along the eastern Pacific coasts are threatened, and those along the western Pacific coasts are endangered.

What does that mean?
It means that if people aren’t careful we could go the way of the Steller’s sea cow.

What is a Steller’s sea cow? I’ve never heard of it.
The Steller’s sea cow was another sea mammal named by Mr. Steller in 1741. They looked sort of like the manatees now found in Florida. They were gentle plant-eating giants. Because the sea cows were good to eat, they were extinct only 27 years after Mr. Steller found them.

Yikes, that is sad. Hope that doesn’t happen to your species.
With luck, this new book will help inform many people about us.

Tell me about “your” new book.
Jeanne Walker Harvey has written the story of my life up to now. She explains how I was orphaned at birth on an island off the coast of California. A scientist found me and took me to the Marine Mammal  Center. The humans took really good care of me. In fact, whenever they tried to send me back to the wild, I just kept coming back to them. Finally, they found a home for me at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, where I live now.

And you know the best part?

What’s that?
Jeanne is donating a percentage of the royalties from the book to both the Marine Mammal Center and to Mystic Aquarium.  Think of all the sea creatures like me that will help.

Anything else about the book?
What I want to know is how Shennen Bersani did those fantastic illustrations. She always shows my best side.

Hey, I thought I was asking the questions.
Didn’t you write to her?

Yes, I asked her how she made the illustrations and here’s what she said:
I’ve been using colored pencils for a long time, I’ve even taught classes and workshops on their use… so most of what you see in Astro is colored pencil on Arches watercolor paper, with a splash of acrylic paint.”

How are the colored pencils so rich? They look like photographs, only much more luminescent.
Layers!  Layer upon layer of pencil is used with a ‘toothy’ paper.  Layers are the best way to explain it.  Does that explanation help?  I use a graphite pencil, nothing fancy there, to draw out the image on the Arches.  (You can see some of my actual sketches turned into coloring pages on the Arbordale website under Astro Teaching Activities.)  Then I color them in with the colored pencils, and highlight some areas with acrylic paint.

Many of the people look like my real friends. How did she do that?

About the models, Shennen Bersani said:
I traveled cross-country to step in Astro’s, umm flippers.  I met with some of the actual people who worked with Astro – and included likenesses of them when possible. I also had fun including my family members, friends, neighbors, and myself.

Isn’t that fun? We should tell the children in the audience to check out Shennen Bersani’s picture in the back of the book and on her website, and then look for her in the illustrations. It will be our little secret.
Would you tell her that I appreciate all her hard work?

I think she knows. So, Astro, do you think there will be a sequel to your book?Actually, I was thinking I’d make a great movie star!
-Roberta Gibson



Wild About Nature-August 2010
Children as well as adults will enjoy reading this new book based on the incredible life of one amazing sea lion. We learn early on that Astro was orphaned when he was just a few days old and cared for by the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. When he was old enough, several attempts were made to release him back into the wild. Astro, who had become accustomed to his human friends, would have no part of life in the wild. He kept returning to the place and the people who had cared for him from the beginning. Realizing that Astro could not be returned to the ocean, his human friends found a safe new sanctuary for him to live in Mystic, Connecticut. Now everyone can visit this stellar sea lion in person.
The For Creative Minds section in the back contains more facts about sea lions including information about their life cycle and what sets them apart from seals. There is also a map highlighting where sea lions can be found in the wild and a timeline of Astro’s adventures.
For more information and teaching activities click here.
Jeanne Walker Harvey always wanted to be a writer. When she was young, she saved her money to buy magazines on writing. Now, she is a middle school Language Arts and writing teacher. Jeanne was intrigued by Astro after reading about him in the local newspaper. She wanted to write a book honoring the volunteers who helped Astro after he had been abandoned. She also wanted to educate people on how our actions can affect marine life. She currently lives in Marin County, California.
-Kim Hutmacher
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Amazon Review-August 2010
A young sea lion cautiously peered through the grate of a pink dog crate secured into the back of a pickup. Pacific waves gently lapped the rocky shores of the California coast. Gulls flew overhead as a pelican closely watched as the truck began its journey to The Marine Mammal Center. Astro, an orphaned Steller sea lion who weighed a mere 39 pounds, would soon find himself nestled into a new volunteer human family. Droplets of his "special smoothie made from ground herring, salmon oil, and whipping cream," from the nipple of a baby bottle dribbled from his mouth. His friends nurtured Astro until it was time to head back into the wild with other Steller sea lions in the ocean seas.

A crew from the Center gathered at the shore to release him, but before he left his crate "a satellite tag was attached to Astro's back so The Marine Mammal Center would be able to track his travels in the ocean." Back on the very beach he was found the waves embraced his body, but frightened of the unknown he soon discovered that ocean waves were not to his liking. Not one iota. Astro made friends with some elephant seals, but would not venture back into the sea. Back to the center he went. They tried releasing him with eight seal pals from the Center, but no go. He hung on for dear life until gravity drew him into the sea. Ten days later guess what Astro did? He showed up on a beach near The Marine Mammal Center. How could they ever get him to go back to the sea where he belonged? Was he going to keep coming back to the Center? How could they break his attachment to people?

This is an amazing story of a young Stellar sea lion, Astro, who much preferred his summer nights in Sausalito instead of surfing the ocean waves. I was simply fascinated by Astro's story, who quickly brought to mind André the seal who was a denizen of the East coast. The highly realistic photo-like artwork was tremendously appealing. Many people do know that Astro now resides in Mystic Connecticut and would love for you to visit him. In the back of this book, which can be used in the homeschool or classroom setting, includes additional information about the species, a section concerning their threatened and endangered status, a map activity, life cycle information, a section describing how to differentiate between a sea lion and a seal, and access to additional web sites through the publisher's web site. I couldn't resist listening to Sausalito Summernight as I read about this little guy, a cutie you are definitely going to fall in love with !-D. Fowler

Chronicles of the Earth-August 2010
I always love release time at Arbordale Publishing! Five new great books came out for fall 2010. I passed these around to several local homeschooling families and got some great feedback from all the mothers who previewed them.

Ready Set Wait is a refreshingly simple story with education value that helps explain what animals do before and during a hurricane. Out of the five releases this was my 9 year old's favorite saying she "really liked the type of story, the way it was written." I think she liked the repeating phrases found throughout the book. Connie McLennan's illustrations are rich and captivating. The book is wonderful for the younger crowd but the For Creative Minds section in the back really jumps up in level for older children.

Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! This is a slightly longer more complex book by Sherry North, a new but promising author for Arbordale books. It has a happy ending (everyone who I shared this this book with flipped to the last page first just to make sure!) and is a good way to introduce the subject of cancer with excellent ideas and information in the back "For Creative Minds" section. And Cheers to the illustrator Kathleen Rietz who is a educator in her homeschooling community!

Astro The Steller Sea Lion is a neat story with very unique illustrations that add to it's appeal. One family I shared this book with had actually been to see Astro in Mystic Connecticut and all the kids were tickled to read this story about a seal they had "met". This is an excellent book to add to a homeschooling unit learning about sea lions. It would also be a great book to do along with a lapbook about sea lions.

A Day on the Mountain is the only story out of the fall's five that was done in poetry and bravo to Kevin Kurtz for pulling it off so gracefully! My tongue didn't stumble once as I read this aloud to my crew. Kevin is a new author to Sylan Dell and I hope he'll be back. The story teaches about the animals you find in a mountainous habitat and how the animals you find changes as you go higher above sea level. Erin Huter (also new to Arbordale) rocked these illustrations (my favorite illustrations out of these releases) and was very clever with her "zooming in" boxes to see up-close details on the animals.

Fur and Feathers is a short imaginative story that helps children start understanding the process of animal class identification. Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein, who also illustrated one of my all time favorite Sylan Dell books Where Should Turtle Be, this book has soft and appealing illustrations. This story was short and engaging enough for my three year old, but would still be good to use with my six year old using the back "For Creative Minds" section for expansion.
Alia Heise
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In the Pages-August 2010

Another box I never tire of is Arbordale's latest releases. I LOVE their focus on Science and Math and the supporting materials they offer. Their website is just loaded with great resources for teachers and parents - really, they are NOT to be missed!

Astro: The Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey. This is a fun story of Astro, a sea lion that is cared for and raised at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. This is a true story that will make you cheer for Astro. When the Mammal Center eventually decides to let him go back into the wild - Astro has other ideas, he just keeps coming back to the center and will not stay in the ocean. You will enjoy this story and learn about sea lions in the process! (Ages 4-9)-Becky Bilby


Katie's Literature Lounge-August 2010

Children will fall in love with Astro and his incredible story of forming attachment to humans and just what that bond meant for his survival. True stories of this nature allow children the opportunity to respect and care greatly for different forms of wildlife, and the story of Astro will be no exception. Add the story to a wealth of press released information about Astro and his adventures and children will instantly be captivated!-Katie Harvey
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Eclectic Homeschool Online-June 2010
Colorful, realistic pictures and a gripping story will keep you turning pages until you reach the end of the book (but not the end of Astro, I'm happy to say).-Virginia Jones
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