Houston, We Have a Problem: Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly
The space shuttle was set for a launch and the astronauts are doing their last-minute training.
NASA is sending along some special guests for this flight, and they are training, too!
One mouse was smaller than the rest. His name was Meteor.
Being a lightweight is actually not a bad thing in space, but Meteor knows he has to be the best mouse he can be to qualify for the mission, and he is proud when he succeeds in making the team.
The launch goes well and soon the whole crew is in space, each one busy with his duties, and Meteor discovers that he loves free-floating around his enclosure just like the rest of the crew. But then, something happens that could bring disaster to their whole mission:
...One astronaut noticed the key to the control panel stuck between the monitors.
When he tries to get it out, it gets wedged farther down.
"This isn't good," he said.
And for squeezing into a very narrow space, there is only one on board who has the right stuff!
Meteor retrieves the key and saves the mission, in astronaut Mark Kelly's Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story (Paula Wiseman Books) (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Kelly tells this "partially true tale" well, appropriately illustrated by noted artist C.F. Payne, who is equally facile with the astronautical hardware, the spacescape outside, and the characters, both human and rodent, in this story. Kelly's afterword points out that his inspiration for his intrepid mouse hero was the smallest mouse on his Endeavor mission, the only one who refused to cling to his cage and seemed to enjoy weightlessness throughout the mission. Kelly's afterword also includes links to space-related games, activities, and information for small would-be astronaut readers.
..."sure to please many fellow pipsqueaks back on Earth," says The New York Times reviewer.