A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11. (author’s note, fun facts, glossary, sources, places to visit) (Informational picture book. 6-10)
In the hours leading up to the Apollo 11 mission, a child imaginatively follows the astronauts' movements: "The astronauts are ready for the mission, and so am I." As the boy (dressed in a NASA shirt) is pictured pulling the small rocket he built in a red wagon, the Saturn V is transported to its launch pad. Gall provides technical details relating to the stages of the voyage, with cutaways offering a view into command and service modules; readers next see the events through the boy's eyes (he replicates the Eagle from cardboard). Finally, the family gathers around the television for the landing: "Everyone is so nervous that no one speaks." Gall uses approachable analogies to illuminate STEAM concepts, and an author's note recalls Gall's experience watching the moon landing as a child, further personalizing this edifying and heartfelt story. Ages 5-8. (June)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 2-5--As the Apollo 11 astronauts make their way to the moon, a young boy follows along with his own version of the mission activities at home. The unnamed, young narrator spends the majority of the book explaining concepts behind space travel such as thrust, telemetry, and orbit, and annotating the realistic illustrations and diagrams of the inner workings of the Saturn V rocket, service module Columbia, moon lander Eagle, and spacesuits. He also launches a water rocket (or air pressure rocket) with his younger brother, drinks Tang in his cardboard Columbia, lands a model moon lander by sliding it down a string, and jumps around his yard while practicing his "giant leaps." According to the author's note, this semi-autobiographical work is based on Gall's childhood fascination with the moon landing. His passion for the subject matter comes through in this detailed work. The imaginary celestial adventures of the narrator work as an effective mirror to the journey of the astronauts. As a resource for educators, its only downside is that no instructions are included for the plethora of tie-in activities. Back matter includes an author's note, fun facts, glossary, sources, and places to visit. VERDICT Recommended for science classes and school and public library collections.--Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public LibraryCopyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"Gall uses approachable analogies to illuminate STEAM concepts, and an author's note recalls Gall's experience watching the moon landing as a child, further personalizing this edifying and heartfelt story." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Gall balances densely explanatory pages with wide-angle scenes filled with tension and drama... Best of all, Gall's young narrator shows how leaps of imagination can transform the grandest milestones into the most personal experiences." - The New York Times
"The final double-page spread is a stunning, vertiginous view of the boy's next generation of homemade rockets lifting off. A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11." - Kirkus
"[Gall's] enthusiasm for rocketry shines brightly in loving attention to hardware detail in the art, with human participants rendered as merely necessary adjuncts. He manages to capture a bit of the Moon mania of 1969 and expand enthusiasm to a new audience in appended fun facts." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Recommended for science classes and school and public library collections." - School Library Journal
"The large trim size places the focus on the richly colored illustrations, which chart and diagram each phase of the journey and return. This will appeal...to the space and tech obsessed, but as the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing arrives, anyone looking to experience the excitement of that time will have an interest." - Booklist