Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

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Astro: The Steller Sea Lion
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. Tap animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.

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
Hardcover 9781607188605 $17.95  
Paperback 9781607188742 $11.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628554052 $11.95  
EBook 9781607182993 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628551303 Purchase Here
Keywords:   Steller sea lion, endangered, helping animals, life cycle, map, coordinate grid (math)
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

Author/Illustrator Info:

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

Shennen Bersani is an award-winning illustrator with 2 million copies of her books cherished and read by children, parents, and teachers throughout the world. Her art delivers heartfelt emotion, the wonders of nature and science, and creates a unique joy for learning. Some of Shennen's other illustrated works include River Otter's Adventures; Night Creepers; Cheetah Dreams; Animal Partners; Astro: The Steller Sea Lion; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children's Choice Book Award); Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; and Shark Baby for Arbordale. She is also the author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Shennen lives with her family near Boston. Visit her website at


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