Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca is an extraordinary book. You can tell the minute you open it and see the front endpapers, which have exquisite, detailed illustrations of Apollo 11. There, laid out simply, is enough information about the flight to be a book in itself. You just have to stop and take it all in. But there’s more. moonshot1

The story itself begins with a well-grounded view of the moon from the earth. Simple, poetic words start you on your journey, a journey like no other. The first trip to the moon.

Following the astronauts as they get ready, you hear the clicks of their equipment as the pieces snap into place. Before long the earth is shaking, as the rocket takes off. The pace, the number of words and the energy all accelerate as the Eagle is about to land. Wow!

After reading all the rave reviews and seeing all the awards (Moonshot has been nominated for the Cybils award in the category of nonfiction picture book), I knew it was an obvious choice for my young nephew who is interested in the solar system and space right now. If you want to see more, take a peek at the trailers below.

For those that want to delve deeper into the flight after reading the book, such as why the astronauts have yellow feet when they are headed to board Apollo 11, take a look at author Brian Floca’s Moonshot Notes webpage. You will be amazed at the lengths he went to to achieve such accuracy and outstanding detail. This book is a superb example of an author fully understanding his topic and being able to finely distill the information to its essence. Magnifique.

Edit: For a fabulous review of the same book, with hands on activities visit Playing by the book.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (April 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141695046X
ISBN-13: 978-1416950462
Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 10.6 x 0.6 inches

To explore more, there are some space-related activities to do with children at Growing With Science Blog this week.

To see for yourself what the fuss is about, take a look at the book trailers:

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Rasco From RIF.

Earth Scientists: A Fresh View

If you like biographies, then Earth Scientists: From Mercator to Evans is like a candy bowl. It is full of short, sweet pieces. Some of the candy you will recognize, others will introduce you to new tastes and perhaps entice you to look for more.
earth-scientists

Lynn Van Gorp has chosen ten scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds, six men and four women. She explores the full range of earth science, from geographers and geologists to zoologists. I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see Rachel Carson included. She didn’t fit my narrower view of earth science, but upon further study it does make sense to include biologists and environmental scientists under the umbrella of scientists who study the earth.

The biographies are laid out in chronological order, giving a picture of the science developing over time through the lives of the people who discovered parts of it. Interestingly, the timeline in the back, “Earth Science through Time,” contains the contributions of other earth scientists not covered in the book. These definitely lead children to want to learn more. For example, we will be researching mud volcanoes today.

Earth Scientists: From Mercator to Evans (Mission: Science)
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding: 40 pages
Publisher: Compass Point Books (August 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0756542359
ISBN-13: 978-0756542351
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.3 inches

This review copy provided by Capstone Press.

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Practically Paradise.

Ferns, Mosses and Other Spore-Producing Plants

After reading Steve Parker’s book about fungi last week, we couldn’t wait to see what he had to say about Ferns, Mosses & Other Spore-Producing Plants (Kingdom Classification series).

We were not disappointed. Although often taking second chair to their showy flowering cousins, the spore-producing plants are front and center in this book.ferns-mosses Steve Parker shows the reader what each type is, the structures that are characteristic of its group, how it reproduces and more. Who knew that there are 10,000 species of humble mosses? Or that some ferns are as big as trees? Other spore-producing plants include the horsetails and liverworts.

Once again, the each page is packed with stunning full-color photographs. This time, however, the text on a few of the pages had a fragmented feel, as if the words had been shoved around to make room for the visuals.

Still, Parker manages to pack a great deal of information into his books. Did you know that many arctic animals rely on mosses and liverworts for food (as well as lichens)? This is because some liverworts can withstand very low temperatures. Tough plants!

Although listed for ages 9-12, this book would be interesting and useful for older children and young adults.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Compass Point Books (August 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0756542200
ISBN-13: 978-0756542207
Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 0.3 inches

Review copy was provided by Capstone books.

I was inspired to put up some science activities related to spore-producing plants at GrowingwithScience.

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Tales from the Rushmore Kid.