Skip to Main Content

Hydroponic Hijinks

Illustrated by Talitha Shipman



Buy from Other Retailers

About The Book

In this third book in the Astrid the Astronaut chapter book series, Astrid is torn between her best friend and arch-rival!

The Shooting Stars and Petite Picasso groups are working together on a combined STEM and art project—which means BFFs Astrid and Hallie finally get to team up! But Astrid’s excitement doesn’t last long when they are grouped with her arch-nemesis: Pearl. And what’s worse, Hallie actually agrees with some of the ideas Pearl has for the project. Isn’t she supposed to be on Astrid’s side?

Can Astrid, Hallie, and Pearl learn how to work together and create a project that’s out of this world?


Chapter 1: A Great Teammate CHAPTER 1 A GREAT TEAMMATE

“Over here!” I shouted. My feet flew through the grass. I slid a finger behind my hearing aids to get rid of the sweat there.

My best friend, Hallie, nodded. She slammed the soccer ball over to me.

A kid from the other team ran up, and I pivoted to block the ball.

This shot was mine.

With short kicks, I dodged around him. But he wasn’t giving up. He stuck a hand out to throw me off, but I twirled around it.

Veejay, my other best friend, ran up. Two kids from the other team were right behind him. “Astrid!” he panted. “Pearl is open!”

He was right. Pearl stood in front of the goal, waving her arms.

We’d been playing soccer every recess this week, and I was getting really good. But Pearl had just started playing with us yesterday. If I passed to her, I didn’t know for sure if she’d score. I knew what my feet could do.

So I kept the ball close, making my way down the field.

Hallie ran up. She shouted something, but I didn’t hear it.

I was close enough now. I could make the shot. So I pulled my right foot back and launched the ball at the goal.

About The Author

Rie Neal is a children’s book author who loves all things space. Growing up, she was often dragged on her grandfather’s unauthorized tours of NASA’s Ames Research Center, which she didn’t appreciate enough at the time. Eventually, though, she became a full-blown space fan, and began to write space-related books for kids. She also has a doctor of audiology degree from the University of Iowa and is nationally certified as an audiologist through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Today, she lives in the Silicon Valley with her husband and kids, where they drag people on (authorized) tours of the NASA Ames visitor center. Learn more about her books at or connect with her on Instagram (@RieNealWriter).

About The Illustrator

Talitha Shipman is a picture book illustrator from Indiana. Her favorite subjects to paint are wild kids and wild animals. Nature inspires Talitha’s painting, and she hopes her work encourages curiosity and creativity in children of all ages. Her books include the Sydney Taylor Honor recipient Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman, American Farm Bureau Recommended Read Applesauce Day by Lisa J. Amstutz, and 2019 IPPY Silver Medalist First Snow by Nancy Viau. Her debut author-illustrator picture book was Finding Beauty. Talitha lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband and their five-year-old wild child, Coral.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (October 11, 2022)
  • Length: 96 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534481534
  • Grades: 1 - 4
  • Ages: 6 - 9
  • Lexile ® 580L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
  • Fountas & Pinnell™ O These books have been officially leveled by using the F&P Text Level Gradient™ Leveling System

Browse Related Books

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Rie Neal

More books from this illustrator: Talitha Shipman

More books in this series: Astrid the Astronaut