Today we have a nonfiction picture book biography that is out of this world, The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Sean Rubin.
Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were the third and fourth people to walk on the moon, but they aren’t the household names their predecessors Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are. This picture book helps correct that omission and bring Alan Bean’s story to the next generation of readers.
Dean Robbins doesn’t present Alan Bean’s life in strict chronological order. Instead he captures the reader’s imagination with the tension of the spacecraft launching, then interrupts the flight and goes back in time to Alan’s childhood interest in model airplanes, and later in painting as a hobby. The back story helps readers understand how Bean began painting again after he retired and why he considered himself to be an artist.
As to be expected, the illustrations are amazing. They combine the look of Alan Bean’s art with Sean Rubin’s skillful images. The highlight is a wordless two-page spread of the surface of the moon with the shadows of the two astronauts in the foreground and the blue, spherical Earth in the distance. Wow!
Check out the trailer to see what I mean:
Isn’t it cool that Dean Robbins knew and worked with Alan Bean, who helped to to create the book? That personal knowledge and access adds such depth.
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon will thrill budding astronauts and artists alike. Be inspired by a copy today!
Check out the activity suggestions on Dean Robbins website (scroll to half way down the page).
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Orchard Books (May 28, 2019)
Disclosure: The book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
For an assignment at NF Fest
Also part of reading for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2020
As well as Nonfiction Monday
Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.