cover image Bonnie’s Rocket

Bonnie’s Rocket

Emeline Lee, illus. by Alina Chau. Lee & Low, $20.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-64379-069-5

Awaiting the return of her father, Baba, an engineer for NASA’s Apollo 11 space program, a child endeavors to make a functional toy rocket in this teachable story. With the help of friends portrayed with varying skin tones, Bonnie, who cues as Asian American, learns about persistence, trying to launch her ship first with a slingshot, and later with a volcano-like blast, until an attempt proves successful. Letters from Baba encourage with affirming insights (“Remember that the engineering process can take a while”), while Lee offers a compelling portrait of design thinking through a four-step process: design, build, test, analyze, and repeat. Chau’s watercolor and digital illustrations showcase both the efforts and the emotions of the would-be engineers. Instructions for making a toy rocket and an author’s note detailing the book’s familial inspirations conclude. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)