Monday, April 20, 2009

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 ~ A Book Review

We all know how much I love the moon, right? So when I saw that a new book called Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca was coming out, I knew I had to see it. Antheneum/Simon & Schuster sent a copy to my house, where it promptly fell onto the floor when I opened the door a few days later. The package was big. I snatched it up lovingly.

Any book that starts like this is golden:

Oh, and did I show you the inside cover that isn't even technically part of the story? Drool with me:

Moonshot is a picture book about the flight of Apollo 11 and its astronauts--Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. It's written and illustrated by Brian Floca, which quite frankly blew my mind. Some people are really good writers, but terrible illustrators. Some people are really good illustrators, but terrible writers. It turns out Brian is incredible at both writing and illustrating.

Even though this spread doesn't contain a ton as far as the brilliant illustrations are concerned, it's my favorite. I've always been drawn to the moon. I've read endless books about it, studied the mythology of it, and have peeked at it from so many cities. So I loved these words:

But still ahead
there is the Moon,
cold and quiet,
no air, no life,
but glowing in the sky.
Glowing and growing,
it takes them in,
it pulls them close.

Yes--I am pulled close. Oh, to be on a spaceship going to the moon. How wonderful!

What I really like about the book is that it's super kid friendly, which not all science books are. Seriously, I've read a LOT of children's books. Sometimes they get too technical, and sometimes they aren't technical enough. This book combines the science explanations with lyrical words that will excite the kiddos. I can't wait to read this to my niece, Little. Who knows? Perhaps she will adore space as much as I do.

At the end, the back inside cover pages include extra information for the older set. There is an essay about the moon program and landings. Even though this is a little bit "heavier," I still think I could get Little's attention with it at the age of 5. And, sadly, it ends with these words:

The last Apollo mission to the moon, Apollo 17, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972.

No one has been back.

Of course, my feathers ruffled at that statement. How crazy are we that we've never been back?! Can you imagine what we could learn now with our new technology? They say we'll go back, but will we? Really? Can I see it happen in my lifetime? Please?? OK, that has nothing to do with Moonshot, but for reals. Imagine the possibilities.

Thank you, Brian Floca and Antheneum Books for Young Readers for reigniting my passion for the moon once again.

Go to Brian Floca's Web site to download these coloring book images of space stuff!

And then check out these additional Brian Floca books:


The Racecar Alphabet
Five Trucks


Rita Arens said...

OOH! Yummy!!!

Anonymous said...

Old Blonde One:

Oh, that book looks great! I would really enjoy those pictures. I love reading about those flights. Thanks for the blog today. I will look for that book at the bookstore.