40 years after moonwalk, world of kid space books

July 31, 2009|By LEANNE ITALIE
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The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe's term for what it takes to challenge the limits of air and space exploration, oozes "manliness, manhood, manly courage," writes Stone as she tells the story of 13 women pilots dubbed the "Mercury 13." They withstood rigorous astronaut testing during America's fledgling manned space program and performed well, but they were denied further consideration in 1962. A year later, the Soviets put the first woman into space.

  • "Moonshot" (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, ages 4-7) written and illustrated by Brian Floca.

    The Apollo 11 astronauts click, click, click on their spacesuits, wiggle into their hatch and lay on their backs - Armstrong on the left, Collins on the right and Aldrin in the middle. After their work on the moon is done, they carry "secrets of the sky" through the darkness "to warmth, to light, to home at last."

  • "Look to the Stars" (Penguin, $17.99, ages 6-up) by Buzz Aldrin and illustrated by Wendell Minor.

    Only comic book heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers blasted off into space in Aldrin's youth. The son of a pilot, Aldrin recalls photos of the Wright brothers and Amelia Earhart at home, his dad's love of flying inspiring him to reach for the stars. Aldrin traces exploration of the universe from Copernicus and encourages young people to carry the torch of science and space travel. It's Aldrin's second moon book for kids.

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  • "T-Minus, The Race to the Moon" (Simon & Schuster, $21.99, ages 8-12) by Jim Ottaviani and illustrated by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon.

    The space race in a black-and-white graphic novel that intersperses the inner-workings of the early Soviet program with that of the United States. The book explores the contributions of many thousands of engineers and other technicians who made it all happen.

  • "Footprints on the Moon" (Candlewick, $16.99, ages 4-8) by Mark Haddon and illustrated by Christian Birmingham.

    A young boy with the solar system on his bedroom wall stands at his window and gazes skyward as the astronauts walk on the moon. At 3 a.m., he makes his way downstairs and turns on the TV to see it for himself on the flickery screen. The boy is Haddon the author, who says he still sits sometimes at his bedroom window, "staring at that tiny, distant world."

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