the Steller Sea Lion
Jeanne. (2010). Astro the steller sea lion. Mount
Pleasant, SC: Sylvan Dell Publishing. ISBN
978-1607180760. Ages 8 and under.
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
Yes, I usually
review fiction not non-fiction. And I review books for
ages 9 and up because it is more difficult to find books
exemplifying good character in books for older kids.
However, I also love sea lions, and animals, and was
intrigued by a book just a bit different than a typical
“little kids” book.
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!). Making this book even more special is the
extra information provided about sea lions in the back
of the book with fun activities that include a great
map. Reflecting back up on my daughter’s reactions to
books when she was age 5-8, she would have eaten this
one up. It is a story the child will want to re-read
over and over again, keep on their bookshelf forever,
and those interested in activities or learning will
enjoy the extras packaged within it.
Astro the Steller Sea Lion are important to a child’s
moral formation. The people in the story deal with
difficult issues of how to best help Astro. As the
entire book is focused on providing loving care as best
possible to God’s creation, it shows children how they
can do the same and helps them develop empathy for
others. They learn to see their role in the world as
caretaker, through which they innately connect with the
sacred around them.
“Love's greatest gift is its
ability to make everything it touches sacred. “ (Barbara
perspective, it is a timely choice for summer reading
and road trips too; one the entire family can enjoy!
class or homeschool use, the publisher provides
extensive teaching activities at
(see right side box). Quizzes are available too. Be sure
to pick up your copy of Astro the Steller Sea Lion
through our Litland.com
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