Monday, September 29, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: You can't ride a bicycle to the moon! by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Amanda Haley

I really liked the swirly blue endpapers. Ok, now that is out of the way...

The book opens with an introduction, featuring "Hey Diddle Diddle" and a discussion of how people have seen the moon through history. It talks a little about different facts - "What's the moon made of?" and "How old is the moon?" and ends with a funny poem, "Biking to the Moon". Chapter one talks about the space race and various firsts, including the first women (both Russian and American) to go to space. It ends with a poem by J. Patrick Lewis, "First Men on the Moon" and a brief section on the Apollo 13 mission. Chapter 2 talks about how spaceships are built. Chapter 3 discusses how astronauts live in space, with lots of quotes from and references to Sally Ride. The last chapter discusses the future of space tourism and then has a list of questions for kids to think about space and inventions.

The illustrations are quirky cartoons, a little in the style of Roz Chast, although kids are more likely to associate them with the art of the Magic School Bus. It's a picture book in format and length, but the pages are packed with text, illustrations, poems, and cartoons.

Verdict: This would be a fun introduction to space for younger kids, kindergarten through third grade. It does not address any of the darker aspects of space travel (the death of the animals sent to space, or the deaths of any astronauts) although it does talk about the issues of space trash several times. It could work in story time as a selective read-aloud, picking sections to talk about as well.

ISBN: 9781609054199; Published 2014 by Blue Apple; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library wishlist

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

When Steven Wright said "everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time", I din't think he meant the moon! Glad you got a little vacation. My vacation is taking the forn of no book fair during conferences.