Astro is a stellar Steller sea lion! Only a few days old when found orphaned, he is cared for and raised at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. When big enough to be released to the wild where he needs to be, he has other plans! Just like a lost dog finding his way home, Astro keeps swimming back towards the Center, crossing miles of open ocean water to do so. After several attempts, people realize that Astro is too accustomed to humans and will just keep coming back. Based on real events, readers follow Astro through some of his travels that have now taken him across the U.S. to his current home at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.
This work of narrative nonfiction includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 43-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Astro is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey, Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
32 pg, 10 x 8.5, Ages 4-9, Grades PK-4, Lexile: AD 790, AR: 4.5, F&P: L
Animals in the book: stellers sea lion, elephant sea
Vetters: Thanks to Ann Bauer, Director of Education at The Marine Mammal Center, and the staff at Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., for verifying the accuracy of the information in this book.
A touching, informative introduction to the species. - Booklist
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. - School Library Journal
Although the text is simple enough for beginning readers, students in any grade can appreciate the story. This is a book for all school and public libraries. - Library Media Connection
Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of several award-winning books, including Astro: The Steller Sea Lion and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. She’s been a language arts teacher and currently gives school tours at a local museum. Jeanne lives near the Golden Gate Bridge in California and walks by the bay every day looking for sea lions. She writes with her gray tabby cat sitting on the desk next to her. Visit her website at www.jeanneharvey.com