Summer reading may be over, but I still have a "universe of stories" to share with you. I discovered lots of great books on the topic of space this summer at the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library thanks to our space-related theme. There are more books than you can imagine about space, the moon, the sun and the stars. One of the books that we gave out at school program sites in June was "Astronaut Handbook" by Meghan McCarthy.

McCarthy introduces young, eager readers to astronaut training and what it's like to go into outer space in this fun and informative nonfiction book for ages 3 to 7. You will go along with four bright-eyed kids as they are introduced to astronaut school, the "Vomit Comet," the interesting workings of a space toilet and more. Did you know that a space toilet has thigh restraints? I also noticed that they were nice enough to include instructions in the bathroom. I would need the instructions.

The brightly colored pictures, funny bug-eyed characters and McCarthy's entertaining writing makes this book a fun but educational read for aspiring space travelers. Fascinating facts, videos and places to visit can be found at the end of the book. For example, did you know that bread could be dangerous in space? "When bread is eaten or sliced, crumbs can flake off and harm sensitive equipment or float into an astronaut's eye. Instead, astronauts use tortillas or bagels to make sandwiches."

The next book I want to share with you is "Mousetronaut" by astronaut Mark Kelly. Many animals and insects have been on space missions such as monkeys, dogs, cats, fish, mice and fruit flies.

"Mousetronaut" is about Meteor, a friendly, hardworking mouse that finally gets to go into outer space. This picture book is about the power of the small and the values of being useful, solving problems and working hard. What I found so intriguing about this tale is that it is based partially on a true story.

Kelly flew with mice on his first flight on the space shuttle Endeavour. At the end of the book there is an afterword that explains how the mice had special cages, water containers and food. Their cages were constructed with mesh that the mice could grip with their toes. Kelly says during his first flight there were 18 mice on board. All of them but one clung to the inside of the mesh during the entire mission. That one mouse, smaller than the rest, would float around the cage effortlessly. And that mouse is what Kelly based his story on.

Both books are fun, educational reads that would be perfect for kids ages 3 to 8. "Mousetronaut" is available at the library. "Astronaut Handbook" is not on our collection but you can come by the library and put it on hold with your library card and have it sent from another PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) library.

Have you ever forgotten your library card? Maybe you have realized you forgot to renew your movies while you were out of the house or saw a book title at the store that you want to check out, but forgot it by the time you got home. Life is hectic -- make it a little easier by solving these library dilemmas using the free PINES app.

The PINES app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Using your library card number and PIN, you can log in to:

• Search the library catalog.

• Place books, movies, video games and more on hold.

• Renew the items you have out.

• Pull up a virtual version of your library card.

Need some help getting started or don't know your PIN? Drop by the library for assistance!

Brandy Wyatt is the administrator of the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library.

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