Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (and 15 More Picture Books About the Moon)

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Brian Floca has expanded his 2009 picture book, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. This beautifully illustrated picture book follows Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin as they travel to the moon, land, explore, sleep, and return home. Floca used the opportunity to expand the book in order to spend a bit more time on the astronauts' time in space, and to shine a brighter spotlight on the thousands of lesser-known and unknown individuals who contributed their expertise to the success of the moon landing.

I don't believe I ever read the original edition of this book, but this new version is completely enthralling for early elementary kids who are interested in space. The illustrations provide a lot of detail, and though there is a lot of text for this format, it reads aloud very smoothly. The book is also a good size, and the illustrations really fill up the large spreads. Floca's use of space on each page helps the reader to really feel the vastness of space, the smallness of Earth when viewed from the moon, and the close quarters inside the small ships.

Along with Moonshot, which is a perfect book to read this weekend, here are 15 other moon-related picture books that I personally recommend.

  • The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
    A poem about the moon is paired with illustrations of a father and son taking a moonlit walk.
  • The Moon Jumpers by Janice May Udry, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
    A group of siblings dance, climb, and play in the moonlight outside their front door.
  • How to Be on the Moon by Viviane Schwarz
    Anna and Crocodile use their imaginations to travel to the moon.
  • The Moon Was the Best by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Tana Hoban
    A mother recounts the adventures she had on a recent trip, noting that she loved the moon the best because she and her child could see it at the same time.
  • The Moon is Going to Addy's House by Ida Pearle
    A beautifully illustrated reflection on how the moon seems to follow a little girl named Addy home.
  • Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
    Kitten thinks the moon is a bowl of milk, leading to a bewildering night.
  • Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Jack Keats
    Louie learns not to be ashamed that his father is the "junk man" after he uses his imagination to build a spaceship out of junk.
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
    A young girl and her father go out looking for owls under a winter moon. 
  • Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith
    A rabbit bathes in the moonlight.
  • One Lighthouse, One Moon by Anita Lobel
    Nini the cat explores various concepts. The final section of the book focuses on counting and is the source of the book's title.
  • Dance by the Light of the Moon by Joanne Ryder, illustrate by Guy Francis
    A group of anthropomorphic cows attend a barn dance.
  • When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge, illustrated by Matt James
    A group of children play hockey by the light of the moon.
  • A Moon of My Own by Jennifer Rustgi, illustrated by Ashley White
    A young girl befriends the moon and accompanies it on a journey to all 7 continents.
  • Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
    Monica wants the moon for a playmate, so her father climbs up to get it for her.
  • Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon by David A. Aguilar
    Geared toward older readers, this book is a collection of scientific information and fanciful folklore about the moon. 

These titles are also printed on this .pdf list, which you can save and/or print to take along with you to the library or bookstore.

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