McReynolds, in her children's book debut, offers a compact and rhythmic look at the first lunar landing 43 years out: "Launchpad countdown./ Smoke and flame./ Rumbling. Blasting./ Seizing fame." The same four-line rhyme scheme continues throughout, from liftoff and moonwalk to splashdown and celebratory parade. The brisk recounting sometimes requires prior knowledge (or at least a parental conversation or two) to fully appreciate its pared-down nature; e.g., most younger readers won't know that the landing was made on the moon's Sea of Tranquility, which the author alludes to with the line, "Desolation./ Silent. Dark./ Tranquil sea./ Barren. Stark." (McReynolds provides additional details about the moon landing in an author's note, and a bibliography suggests print and online resources for children.) Rendered in oil, O'Rourke's (One Big Rain) flat, clean-lined cartoons have a speckled, airbrushed quality and are reminiscent of some of the Golden Book illustrations of the Apollo 11 mission's era. A spread of a half-Earth hanging in black space as a single astronaut on the moon gazes toward it is awe-inspiring. The book's small trim size echoes the condensed, yet evocative account found within. Ages 5-8. (July)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
K-Gr 2--Vibrant poetry and dramatic artwork describe the 1969 Apollo 11 voyage. One- and two-syllable words drive the story from the launch to the lunar landing and the historic Moon walk, while crisp oil paintings take readers through the mission. The three astronauts are shown walking to the Florida launch site and waving before their epic journey. Each man gets his own spread, e.g., "Armstrong makes his/one small step./Giant leap/from years of prep." All three are shown in their victory parade. The bold, punchy text and vivid illustrations combine to make this a great candidate for storytime as well as exciting solo enjoyment.--Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA[Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.