For young readers fascinated with the real history of space travel, this simple, clear, and attractively illustrated book is a great place to begin. Using two-page spreads that are half text, half image, the story of July 20, 1969, and the moon landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is related in short sentences that tread the line between informational (details of the Eagle include “Its outer walls thinner than human skin”) and poetic (the moon’s surface is described as “like a battlefield from some ancient war”). The landing is tense, the frolicking on the moon amusing, but most welcome is the realistic portrayal of the exhaustion and trepidation that occur after the moon walk is finished. The feathery, impressionistic paintings alternate between hues of blue (the moon) and green (the cockpit) and utilize unusual high or low perspectives to accentuate the drama. The only thing missing is historical context, and Burleigh’s author’s note takes care of that quite nicely. Grades 1-3. --Daniel Kraus
"The sense of immediacy is irresistible and will cause children who consider the event just ancient history to feel as if they too had left footprints on that distant, dusty surface."
—School Library Journal