BONNIE’S ROCKET by Emeline Lee and Alina Chau (+GIVEAWAY)

My students are really into inventing lately, filling my classroom with incredible oddities. For anyone who ever wished turtles came with more cuddly shells, please take note of Feel Good Turtle, lovingly built with pom poms and feathers. And if you want to house two distinct beverages in a single vessel, look no further than Double Decker Cup. Given sufficient time and tape the children will construct gecko-style feet and attempt to crawl up the walls. Thankfully they have not made it far, or I would struggle to explain my pedagogical choices on the inevitable accident report.

It was in the midst of this productive chaos that I came across Bonnie’s Rocket, written by Emeline Lee and illustrated by Alina Chau, and I immediately knew it needed a space in my classroom library. In this historical fiction picture book, launched earlier this fall by Lee & Low Books, Bonnie attempts to build a model rocket. Meanwhile, she misses her Baba, a NASA engineer who is away working on the Apollo 11 space mission.

This book deftly highlights the engineering process, from design to build, testing to analysis. Bonnie’s journey to building the perfect rocket is full of messes and mistakes that children will appreciate. But with each crashed tin can and exploding milk carton, Bonnie perfects her design. Along the way, she receives letters from Baba that contain advice and encouragement from one engineer to another, and by the time he comes home, Bonnie’s rocket is ready to soar.

The watercolor and digital illustrations are warm and cheerful as they show the ways that Bonnie’s work mirrors Baba’s. The back matter includes instructions for building a model rocket and an author’s note that highlights her grandfather’s NASA work as inspiration for the story.

This book will appeal to budding engineers, space enthusiasts, kids who make messes, and of course, their teachers.

Emeline Lee is generously offering a giveaway of Bonnie’s Rocket! To enter, simply comment below by November 21. For an extra entry, tweet this post and tag @sara_h_ackerman to be counted. U.S. domestic mailing addresses only, please. Thank you, Emeline, for this giveaway!

Sara Holly Ackerman

Sara Holly Ackerman is the author of several forthcoming picture books including THE GABI THAT GIRMA WORE, co-authored with Fasika Adefris and illustrated by Netsanet Tesfay (Little, Brown, 2024) and NOT JUST THE DRIVER illustrated by Robert Neubecker (Beach Lane Books, 2024). She is an early childhood educator who lives in Brooklyn, NY right down the street from the library. Visit Sara at and on Twitter at @sara_h_ackerman.


  1. Sara, I love books about process, whether it’s writing or engineering or natural transformations. Thanks so much for highlight Bonnie’s Rocket–it looks like so much fun–and the chance to win a copy.

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  3. Bonnie’s Rocket looks like a fun read. I know a few space and engineer lovers, who need this book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  4. Congratulations, Emeline! Bonnie’s Rocket sounds fascinating and full of heart. I know my budding-scientist grandchildren would love it!

  5. Oh wow, love the sample spreads and I can definitely see why this would be an amazing addition to any classroom. Looks like such a wonderful STEAM-read for kids! Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  6. I love a STEM book with a girl protagonist, and especially one that has a Baba like my older kids do. It also sounds like a book that highlights the importance of persistence which is so important for kids and the illustrations are lovely. I would love to get this for my niece.

  7. Thanks for sharing this book. It has so many positives for kids: space, girl power and engineering. The inter generational layer really adds depth and heart to this story. I look forward to reading it!

  8. Bonnie’s Rocket looks amazing! I love building and launching rockets with the littles in my life and this would make a great introduction for that activity. The spreads are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This looks so beautiful – and can I join your class? I want gecko feet!

  10. My kids have a plan to work together in a science lab as adults, so this seems like required reading. Looks like an amazing book!

  11. This book looks beautiful! Engineering, family, history and how-to’s!

    Where can I get my own feel-good Turtle? 🙂

  12. So much fun! I know just the kids who will love this book! Congrats!

  13. This looks adorable!

  14. Thanks Sara, thanks for letting me know about Emeline’s book BONNIE’s ROCKET. I haven’t read that many historical fiction picture books and this sounds fascinating. Plus, I like the introduction of STEM concepts and a female main character. I put it on my TBR list and hope to read & review it soon.

  15. Oooh this looks awesome! Thanks for sharing, Sara!

  16. Ooo, this sounds like a lot of fun! I’d love to win a copy.

  17. This book looks great! Think my twins would love it!

  18. Excited for this book! Would love to add this to my classroom library!

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