MaiStoryBook Library: Mae Among the Stars + Launching Rocket Craft

Introducing the inspirational biography featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Mae Among the Stars” by Roda Ahmed and Stasia Burrington

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Mae Among the Stars* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

Be prepared to reach for the stars through this week’s featured storybook: *Mae Among the Stars*. This  inspirational nonfiction biography explores the childhood of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut. Little Mae’s dream is to see Earth~ but not from the view out her window or from stepping outside her front door~ she wants to see Earth from way out there~ from *space.* As little Mae continues to dream big, researching and exploring her passions to become an astronaut, her parents are there to support her every step of the way, offering words of encouragement ~ letting Little Mae know that is she can dream it, believe in it, and work hard for it~ anything is possible!

This story is one of following your dreams and believing in yourself. From a very young age, Mae loved being outdoors and looking up at the stars. She pursued her passions and enrolled at Stanford university at the young age of 16 to earn her degree in chemical engineering. After, she applied to NASA’s astronaut training program and was accepted. The name of her spaceship was Endeavour. This colorful children’s books follows Mae’s childhood and her passionate pursuit of her dreams, even in the face of discouragement. This beautiful children’s biography exposes children to the nonfiction genre through simple text and dreamy illustrations, and offers little ones an encouraging message. It is the perfect read aloud to encourage you to follow your dreams to grow up to become all you can imagine to be!

Vocabulary List

  • Succeed (p. 2) to get what you wanted and were trying to do
  • Assignment (p. 3) work you have to do
  • Astronaut (p. 6) a person who travels to outer space
  • Profession (p. 23) a job
  • Encourage (p. 30) to give someone support and make them feel better

Themes/Main ideas

  • Follow Your Dreams: Never give up on your dreams. If you believe it and work hard for it, you can achieve greatness.
  • Believe in Yourself: Don’t let others tell you what you can or cannot do. Believe in yourself and your own ability, strength, and intelligence.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Mae Among the Stars” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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Rocket Launcher Activity

When in elementary school, one of the frequently asked questions is *What do you want to be when you grow up?* And at such a young age, when children still dream wild and big, their true hopes and wishes for the future pour out in excited bursts. Me? I had two dreams I would flip flop between: I wanted to be a *librarian* ~and a *teacher.* My younger self would be quite proud of me now, I’m proud to say! I’m currently pursuing my Masters of Education and Elementary teaching credential~ and have pursued my passion for books through MaiStoryBook and inspiring in little ones a love for reading! I’m excited to continue to dream bigger and even *wilder* ~ Perhaps~ open my own preschool one day??? Publish my very own children’s book??? *** You are never too old to dream and reach for the stars! Encourage your own little one’s to pursue their passions and never give up~* This week’s craft is all about *reaching for the stars* by creating your very own Rocket Launcher! Be prepared for an afternoon of flying high and soaring towards your dreams!


  • 1 sheet of construction paper (any color)
  • 1 big straw (with a wider diameter than a regular straw)
  • 1 regular/skinnier straw
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Scissors


  • Fold the construction paper in half. Draw an outline of a rocket taking up about 1/3 of the paper in size. See photos for example.
  • Cut out the rocket so that you have two rocket papers. Decorate the front sides.

  • Next, take the big straw and cut a piece that can fit on the back of one of the rocket papers without showing.
  • Seal one end of the big straw piece with tape. Then, tape the big straw piece to the back of one of the rocket papers, with the open end facing toward the bottom.


  • Then, tape the two rocket pieces together, so that the big straw piece is sandwiched between the rockets. The colored sides of the rocket should be facing outward so the rocket is double sided.

  • Next, cut about 1/3 of the skinny straw off, so that you are left with a 2/3 straw piece.
  • Insert the 2/3 straw piece into the big straw in the middle.
  • Blow on the end of the straw and watch your rocket launch!

Enjoy your *Rocket Launcher* Activity

  • Experiment with different adjustments to the rocket to see how it affects flight patterns.
  • Make multiple rockets of different sizes and shapes and compare how far they fly and how they fly
  • Have rocket launching contests and see who can launch their rocket the farthest.
  • Use the rocket as a tool to talk about reaching for the stars and chasing your dreams!
  • Use the rocket as a retelling guide so your little one can retell the story to a family or friend.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Rocket Launcher*,  and I hope you and your little one continue to reach for the stars and believe in your dreams! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Rocket Launchers* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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