Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

August 24th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Books


This is one of those books that I knew I had to review for Vegbooks just to share it with others.  It is one of the first nonfiction books to truly capture my daughter’s attention right away and keep it.  The illustrations are beautiful and on large, expansive pages and the prose is poetic – perfect for reading aloud.  The book tells the story of the flight of Apollo 11 and the moon landing.

The astronauts prepare and launch up into the sky while crowds watch:

The rocket is released!
It rises
foot by foot,
it rises pound by pound.
It climbs
the summer sky.
It rides a flapping,
cracking flame
and shakes the air,
and shakes the earth,
and makes a mighty ROAR.

Doesn’t that give you chills?  Soon the crew of Apollo 11 are in space and floating inside their ship. Even with the poetry of this book it does not leave out details that ground the story, like describing that the men must use “pipes and hoses and bags” to use the toilet.  The food they eat is mentioned/ illustrated and includes a ham sandwich, cream of chicken soup, and beef hash.

My favorite moment is when they gaze from the moon at Earth, I think that it gives a wonderful perspective and starting point to discuss a number of topics with children – both on the macro (ex: environmental) or micro (ex: familial) scale.  Even though meat does feature in the story I think it is still one I can wholeheartedly recommend, as it just feels majestic and beautiful.

Ages 3 and up.

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