cover image Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket

Sue Fliess, illus. by Annabel Tempest. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1803-6

In this STEM-focused tale of pretend, Sadie is determined to be the first person to land on Mars. She assembles her crew—an animate stuffed rabbit, owl, and bear—and with their help and some junkyard scavenging, builds a blastoff-worthy rocket ship outside. Fliess’s (Flash and Gleam) lighthearted quatrain text clearly delineates what’s required of a leader: Sadie keeps the crew motivated (“She knew it would be tough./ But Sadie kept their spirits up./ ‘We’ll be there soon enough!’ ”), and she shows tenacity and ingenuity in the face of a Martian sandstorm and a grounded ship. Bright and bouncy colors underscore the spirit of adventure, and Tempest’s (the Babylit series) cartooned drawings have a freewheeling spontaneity that’s well suited to the idea of Sadie going where her mind takes her. Back matter contributes facts about Mars and women in space. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. Illustrator’s agent: James Burns, the Bright Agency. (Feb.) [/em]