A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11.

GO FOR THE MOON

A ROCKET, A BOY, AND THE FIRST MOON LANDING

The Apollo 11 mission ignites a young boy’s lifelong passion for rockets and astronomy.

A stately Saturn V rocket stands ready, illuminated by beams of light against a night sky. Turn the page, and a stunning white moon with a hazy halo shares that night sky, the words “The moon is out tonight” superimposed invitingly on its surface. Next, a young white boy (assumed to be a young version of the author) stares at the moon through his open bedroom window, thinking, “I’m so excited that I can’t sleep!” Effectively set up by these first images, the narrative proceeds to weave the three threads—the rocket, the moon, and the boy—into a volume that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. The boy’s first-person narrative and supporting illustrations are set within the larger moon-mission illustrations like family photographs. The science behind the Saturn V rocket is related simply, large-format illustrations emphasizing the grandeur of the Apollo endeavor. The moon itself, ever present and awaiting, gets short shrift once the astronauts set foot on the surface; they spend two and a half hours and off they go, blasting off and heading home. The final double-page spread is a stunning, vertiginous view of the boy’s next generation of homemade rockets lifting off.

A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11. (author’s note, fun facts, glossary, sources, places to visit) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-15579-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A quick flight but a blast from first to last.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SPACE AND OTHER GALACTIC FACTS!

From the Everything Awesome About… series

A charged-up roundup of astro-facts.

Having previously explored everything awesome about both dinosaurs (2019) and sharks (2020), Lowery now heads out along a well-traveled route, taking readers from the Big Bang through a planet-by-planet tour of the solar system and then through a selection of space-exploration highlights. The survey isn’t unique, but Lowery does pour on the gosh-wow by filling each hand-lettered, poster-style spread with emphatic colors and graphics. He also goes for the awesome in his selection of facts—so that readers get nothing about Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, but will come away knowing that just 65 years separate the Wright brothers’ flight and the first moon landing. They’ll also learn that space is silent but smells like burned steak (according to astronaut Chris Hadfield), that thanks to microgravity no one snores on the International Space Station, and that Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon…to use the bathroom. And, along with a set of forgettable space jokes (OK, one: “Why did the carnivore eat the shooting star?” “Because it was meteor”), the backmatter features drawing instructions for budding space artists and a short but choice reading list. Nods to Katherine Johnson and NASA’s other African American “computers” as well as astronomer Vera Rubin give women a solid presence in the otherwise male and largely White cast of humans. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quick flight but a blast from first to last. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35974-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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