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Grandpa Was An Astronaut by Jonathan Meres was sent to me by my favourite children’s publisher, Barrington Stoke, for review.


This book is one of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gem series, which of all the series of books they do, is probably my favourite. The size is perfect for smaller hands to hold, the quality is beautiful, the attention to detail is a joy, with wonderful end pages, lovely quizzes for children on the inside covers and perfect, gorgeous illustrations by Hannah Coulson. I love them so much I would like larger versions on my wall. They have a wonderful, vintage feel to them.

The story is about a young boy called Sherman who lives with his mum and his dog, Luna, at the seaside. Sherman loves being outdoors and spending time in nature, but most of all he loves space, and sharing his thoughts about space with his grandpa, who used to be an astronaut.

The story focuses on a day that Sherman spends with his grandpa. Sherman’s grandpa spends a whole afternoon playing with Sherman and they go to space, in much the same way that Baby Bear goes to space in Jill Murphy’s classic story, Whatever Next? It has the same lovely, whimsical qualities as Whatever Next? But there is a poignant element to this story that children probably won’t pick up on, but I certainly did. I found myself rather teary by the end of the story.

This is a lovely story for independent readers aged between 5-8, both boys and girls, or a lovely story to share at bed time with younger children or less confident readers. The book has Barrington Stoke’s special dyslexia friendly font and easy to manage chapters, making it perfect for transitional readers and those who struggle with more text rich books.

You can read the first chapter on Barrington Stoke’s website.