Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina

Celestina is a little girl with a big dream―can she overcome peer pressure and bullying to accomplish her astral ambition?


“Well,” said Miss Stella, “it’s time that you soar. Trade in your ballet shoes for the great rocket’s roar. Dream your big dreams and never give in. It is never too late for you to begin.”

Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina is a beautifully illustrated story that teaches kids about the importance of holding on to their hopes and dreams in the face of bullying and peer pressure. This thought-provoking story also highlights the impact that our words and actions can have on others―good or bad―and challenges gender stereotypes in the workforce.

Editorial Review From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—In this latest from Jacobsen (Mighty Mommies and Their Amazing Jobs), a young Black girl, Celestina, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Her dreams are quickly diminished by peers (of many races and abilities), adults, and especially by a white teacher in her life who advises her to become a ballerina. While becoming a ballerina is also a lot of hard work, Celestina excels, even as her original dreams of space are still alive. A new teacher, Miss Stella, who is Black, asks all of her students about their dreams and encourages them wholeheartedly. This inspiring and encouraging adult returns the girl to her original path. “With confidence, Celestina stepped out onto Mars. With wonder, Celestina looked out at the stars. And on that red planet, our great Celestina danced like a brilliant astronaut ballerina.” The verse has some clunkers, but the messaging is spot-on. Digital illustrations are brightly colored and show Celestina’s ups and downs. VERDICT For larger collections, or those needing to fill a gap in representation, this reminder for children to follow their dreams transcends its flaws.—Sara Thomas, New Castle P.L., DE

Other reviews
“… the messaging is spot-on. … this reminder for children to follow their dreams transcends …”

— Sara Thomas ― School Library Journal Published On: 2021-06-01

“This was a lovely book in verse that will help convince kids that they can achieve their dreams, no matter how unachievable they may have been led to believe they are. It was great to see Celestina go from a slightly depressed child to an accomplished adult, and I loved seeing how a teacher (especially one who looked like Celestina) was the person who pushed her to strive for what she really wanted in life.”

— Sophie Brown ― GeekMom Published On: 2021-03-02

“I loved the many representations of multicultural characters in the book and the fact that the main character is a girl is wonderful as well. Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina is an inspiring book for kids who dream big and learn to work hard to get where they want to be.”

— lavenderagate ― LibraryThing Published On: 2020-08-14

Weight14.4 oz
Dimensions9.25 × 0.25 × 10.75 in


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