Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrator:  Shennen Bersani 
Nonfiction Picture Book
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2010   ISBN: 978-1607180760

When Astro the sea lion was just a few days old, he got lost. He was very lucky because a scientist found him and took him back to the Marine Mammal Center, where volunteers fed and cared for him. Their loving care paid off, and when Astro was ten months old the people at the Marine Mammal Center decided that he was ready to go back into the wild.

Astro was transported to a beach were he was set free. There was only one problem. Astro did not know what to do. He was scared of the big ocean, and he refused to leave the beach.

Afraid that Astro would starve, the staff of the Marine Mammal Center took the sea lion twenty-seven miles out to sea, so that he would be far away from San Francisco with its beaches and its people.  Where he was released, along with eight Northern fur seals, poor Astro did not want to leave his carrier, but he eventually went into the water.

Just ten days later, Astro was back on the beach. It was clear that he wanted to be with people, and he had no interest in being a wild sea lion.

This charming book is based on the true story of Astro, a Stellar sea lion who was rescued when he was a baby. Unfortunately, Astro did not know how to adjust to being a wild animal, and he became quite a celebrity when he kept coming back to places where he could be with humans.

In addition to the story, the author provides her readers with four pages of information about sea lion biology, their conservation, their life cycle, and more.