Gr 2-3-The space race is ancient news to young readers, but these clear accounts of milestones in its history re-create a sense of its drama and offer information that was suppressed, or at least not well known, at the time. For example, Tereshkova states that the first woman in space was a marginally qualified mill worker whose flight was a one-off, politically motivated stunt, and Gagarin describes the loss of Vostok 1's hatch in mid-descent. Children will also encounter rarely mentioned facts, including which scientific instruments Sputnik 1 carried, and that it weighed 183 pounds-in contrast to the U.S.'s Explorer 1, which weighed in at 29 pounds, and if not the size of a carrot, as a caption claims, certainly resembled one. Feldman discusses each mission's immediate, and long-term, significance as well. Though the page-sized, period photos opposite each block of large-type text have been digitally worked over to the point that some have an artificial sheen, and younger viewers may not understand that the small space shuttle attached to each caption is there for decorative purposes only, these introductions present material that is not easily available to primary graders, and so merit a place in most libraries.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.