08Mar2011
Author
Jenny
Category
Kids, Picture Books

Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

I never turn down a free book if I can help it, so when author Jeanne Walker Harvey offered to send me a copy of her picture book, Astro: The Steller Sea Lion, I sure wasn’t going to turn it down.  Plus, I do have my picture book obsession to feed.  Double plus, my kids and I have a love of books and movies about sea creatures.  We’ve watched the ocean segments of our Planet Earth DVDs far more than anything else.  We have worn out our copy of Commotion in the Ocean.  It’s nerdy, but I’m okay with that.

Astro is a real sea lion who was found by a scientist on an island of the California coast when he was only a few days old.  His mother wasn’t to be found, so the scientist brought him to The Marine Mammal Center to heal and recuperate.  Unfortunately, Astro was more accustomed to humans than seals, so the many attempts to release him back into the wild fail.  Even when Astro manages to stay in the ocean with his seal buddies for a day or two, he always makes his way back to San Francisco.  Once, he joined an walk-a-thon at an elementary school, where the kids and parents tried to coax him back into the ocean.  Astro wasn’t having anything any of that, though.  He believed that he was right where he belonged.  Eventually, Astro finds a home in Connecticut at the Mystic Aquarium where he happily gets to be around people all the time.

As a bonus, the end of the book includes a section called “For Creative Minds” which has all sort of information, like where the name Steller comes from, where sea lions are found, a steller sea lion life cycle, and the differences between seals and sea lions.  It felt like it was possibly more geared towards a school setting, but my older kids still enjoyed it.  It prompted lots of discussion about sea lions at our house and I’ve caught it being re-read by my little ones since then.

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.

Thanks to Ms. Harvey for the free book and I’ll be on the lookout for more from her in the future.

Author
Jenny

About the Author

has written 287 articles on Red Hot Eyebrows.

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