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If You Decide To Go To The Moon Hardcover – June 25, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*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 Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
One thing that is great about this book is the way experiences and things that are familiar to children are used to describe extraordinarily UN-familiar experiences and ideas. The book is written in the second person point of view -- directly addressing the reader. I thought it was brilliant the way McNulty captures what a child's (or anyone's) feelings might be as they hurtle through the dark expanse of space, far away from the comfort of Earth and home. ("Up here in space you may feel very alone. Don't look back at the Earth. It would make you even lonelier.")
Kellogg illustrates a variety of moods, experiences and concepts from eye-catching perspectives. There is whimsy: an astronaut floats weightlessly around inside the capsule amidst a swarm of playing cards, and, later in the book an unexpected herd of hypothetical moon cows makes an appearance! There is quite a lot of loneliness in Kellogg's space: A lone astronaut hops around and explores the strange, barren, black and grey moonscape for several pages. In a compelling two-page spread, Kellogg depicts a lone astronaut, standing on the Moon under a lonely black sky -- the scene is printed with the darkest jet black ink I have EVER seen printed in any picture book. At the end of the journey, the astronaut returns to an exuberant fold out frieze of Earth's magnificently varied biodiversity, under a shining sun and clear sky with children swimming in fresh, clear water -- the essential element that makes our planet habitable. I was especially pleased to see this book, since another excellent children's book about the Moon, E.C. and Robin Krupp's book, The Moon and You, is not readily available anymore. I highly recommend this book for any elementary school library, or for the book collections of Kindergarteners to second graders. I also would not be surprised if it wins some children's book awards in the months to come.
It's about a boy who is going to the moon. You learn that you will travel 240,000 miles to get there and if you average 3,750 mph you will arrive in 2 1/2 days. There is no air, clouds, or rain in space. Once you arrive you will float like a feather. You can't drink out of a glass, you must use a squeeze bottle. The moon is covered with rocks and craters. Some craters are hundreds of miles across. Everything on the moon is a silvery gray. If you weigh 60 pounds on Earth you will weight 10 pounds on the moon. Each step takes you five times further than when you step on Earth. If you don't wear a space suit, the heat will burn you up. There is no wind or rain to erase your footprints and when you walk it's like walking in cake flour.
HOWEVER, the errors seemed minor compared to what really stood out in a positive way: the author's description of what an astronaut actually thinks and FEELS!
My 6 1/2 year old granddaughter loved the story and asked me to buy her one, which I have. I really enjoyed the story, too. I felt it told of the journey to the moon from a very human point of view, maybe even from a child's point of view - something we still are deep inside.
You can point out the errors, but what I think readers will take away from this book is a sense of personal connection to space flight and astronomy.