From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–In this lavish picture book, readers accompany a boy on a fascinating excursion to the moon. The lyrical text provides tips on what to pack and describes the distance to be covered. After blastoff, facts about space travel are mingled with descriptions of what the journey might be like: the loneliness, the lack of gravity, and how you might pass the time. After landing, the text warns: Your first step will be difficult. You will rise in the air and leap forward like a kangaroo, but once you learn how, walking will be fun. It also suggests that the moon's lack of sound and color may make it seem like a dream. After viewing the flag left behind by astronauts, it's time to depart. As Earth looms closer, a four-page foldout in a glorious burst of color marks our planet's contrast to the moon's black-and-white shades. These pages depict a variety of wonders: all sorts of animals and landscapes as well as people from different historical periods and locales. The narrative notes, Air and water are Earth's special blessings. We must guard them well. The final pages show the boy returning home. Rich artwork complements the strong text. Kellogg's generous splashes of bright hues in the Earth and shipboard scenes juxtaposed with the somber moonscapes set the appropriate moods. Houston, we have a winner!–DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. As in her earlier How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World
(1979), illustrated by Marc Simont, McNulty offers another mock travel manual for children undertaking a spectacularly improbable journey. In a matter-of-fact, second-person voice, she describes trip preparations, what to expect en route and after disembarking (the tour includes a visit to Apollo 11's landing site), and the thrill of homecoming. The tousle-headed boy cast as readers' surrogate is a vintage Kellogg character, but the artist shows his more experimental side elsewhere with tie-dye-vibrant backdrops, boldly graphic compositional choices, and areas of thickly applied paint to re-create a craggy lunar surface. Whimsical details throughout, whether visual (a cameo by Kellogg and his dog Pinkerton) or textual (beverages in space must be in squeeze bags, lest one produce an "orange juice fog"), will sustain children's interest through meditative reflections on the moonscape's eerie poetry of "silence and stillness." A dramatic four-page foldout celebrating "Earth's special blessings," air and water, marks a safe landing as well as a return to Kellogg's bread-and-butter style--a riotous watercolor panorama teeming with people, animals, and green, growing things. The concluding environmental message should have been left implicit, but the single preachy note won't dampen readers' enthusiasm for the preceding journey. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved