Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and Illustrated by Stasia Burrington

I’ve already read Roda Ahmed‘s first children’s picture book Mae Among the Stars (2018, Harper) to my little guy twice. Illustrated beautifully by Stasia Burrington, this book is about the power of believing in one’s dreams. My children’s literature students have to create a text set around a particular content area next semester, and this book will be one I will recommend for students designing a science text set.

This story really resonated with me because even though I did not want to be an astronaut, I was enamored by the stars as a little girl. I had a telescope and created a planetarium in my room. Today’s youngest star lovers will really enjoy Mae Among the Stars. 

Told in third person narration, Mae Among the Stars is the story of Mae Carol Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut and in space. When her teacher asks her what she wants to be, Mae decides she wants to see Earth. With her parents’ encouragement, Mae decides to share this information with her teacher and classmates. But when her teacher discourages her from becoming an astronaut, Mae has to rely on her parents’ and her belief in herself to make her dreams come true.

Not only did I LOVE the story Ahmed creates, but I really enjoyed the way Burrington works with colors, created with ink and Adobe Photoshop. I will be sharing this text as an exemplar of how colors can convey emotions in my children’s literature course next year. Mae Among the Stars has some of my favorite illustrations in a children’s book published this year! There are several pages I wanted to tear out and frame! Not that I did, of course!

Teachers and parents looking to pair Mae Among the Stars with other picture books might consider Will Hillenbrand’s First Star as a complementary text.

A great book for budding scientists, Mae Among the Stars earns five stars! img-thingimg-thingimg-thingimg-thingimg-thing


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