Moonwalk: The Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing by David Jenkins

Moonwalk: The Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing by David Jenkins
Publisher: Circa Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Middle Grade
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Written for children, but with parents very much in mind, this book tells the Apollo 11 story through the medium of artist Adrian Buckley’s atmospheric imagery. From President Kennedy’s call to put a man on the moon to the celebratory ticker tape parade in Manhattan, this is a story of three extraordinary men and their incredible achievement: Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Buzz Aldrin and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins. On 21 July 1969, when Neil Armstrong opened the hatch in the Lunar Module and descended the ladder to set foot on the surface of the Moon, he became in an instant the greatest traveler in human history. Full of period detail and fascinating insights, this is a book to be explored and enjoyed.

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I’m not usually one for reading books for children, but that didn’t stop me from picking up this picture book. There are tidbits on each page that flow well and nicely explain the images. I learned more than a few things while reading this book. It’s explained and put in language a kid can understand, but doesn’t talk down to the younger reader.

One thing that is a tiny bit distracting–it was to me, but might not be for other readers–is the photos. Some are more like drawings and others actual photos. I didn’t mind the hybrid, but the thing that was odd was how the photos were edited, like editing Neil Armstrong out of the reflection on Buzz Aldrin’s helmet. Or the hyper realism on the Saturn V rocket, but the surrounding area is drawn. It’s a quibble that bothered me, but might be perfectly fine for other readers and isn’t something that should make you pass this book by.

I really enjoyed the snippets on the last couple of pages. The author included interesting facts about the mission, about the astronauts and NASA. The little tidbits are great points for discussion, even with smaller children.

If you’re looking for a book to introduce your younger reader to the space mission, Apollo 11, then this might be the book you’re looking for. Give it a try.

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