Field Trip to the Moon
John Hare and Jeanne Willis
Macmillan Children’s Books
A class goes on a field trip to the moon and almost all the visitors follow their teacher, one particularly curious member of the group lags behind. This student is carrying drawing materials and decides to sit down and make use of them, watched by the residents, one of which narrates the rhyming story.
The student ‘Earthling’ drops off to sleep and wakes up to discover that the spaceship on which the party came has departed. I don’t know what the irresponsible person in charge was thinking of, not doing a head count first. The now sad-looking Earthling starts drawing again as the lunar inhabitants cautiously approach.
The initial surprise of a face-to-face encounter rapidly gives way to a creative session with human and lunar dwellers brightening up each other,
sheets of paper and the moonscape with colourful designs.
Meanwhile back comes the spaceship prompting the lunarians to hide themselves away though they re-emerge to wave a fond farewell to the departing young earthling who has been rather unfairly chastised, I think, by the group leader.
An experience neither side will forget, for sure.
The child’s body language, and that of the host populace in Jeanne Willis’ lunar scenes speak as loud as Hare’s verbal narrative of this expedition. Were the illustrations created using 3d models one wonders; they’re highly effective and likely to inspire children’s own creative efforts – perhaps to create their own group lunar landscape. There’s much potential for classroom activities, as well as for individuals after a sharing of this unusual book.
If you missed it the first time around, coming in June from Macmillan, is a special 50th Anniversary Moon Landing paperback edition of a book previously reviewed on this blog:
The Darkest Dark
Chris Hadfield and The Fan Brothers