If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon / The Race to Space

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
Joyce Lapin and Simona Ceccarelli
Sterling

Hold on to your helmets, it’s blast off time, destination a birthday party in a place you never expected it to be. Moreover, there’d be a lot more celebration time on your lunar destination for it has a 709-hour day.

On the way to the moon you’ll discover what it feels like to be weightless and your party paraphernalia and pals will also float around inside your spaceship.

Once on the moon’s surface you’ll feel a lot lighter than on Earth and the Moon’s low gravity will keep you safe.
You won’t be able to fly any party balloons on account of the Moon being airless but you can have enormous fun doing one-handed push-ups,

exploring the lunar craters, trying a game of freeze tag and making moondust angels.

Perhaps you will have to eat your birthday cake astronaut style squeezed out of a foil pouch. Don’t think I’d be so keen on that idea.

Then on the return journey and there’ll be bags of time to open your presents, a whole three days in fact during which you could also open those party bags and sample some of the Moon pies therein.

Woven into all this partying is a great deal of STEM information on exciting topics both astronomical and cosmonautical. Why for instance is the sky black rather than blue; why your birthday will last almost 30 days, and why there wouldn’t be any point in playing musical statues on the moon.

With Simona Ceccarelli’s lively, playful digital illustrations and Joyce Lapin’s enormously engaging narrative that speaks straight to the reader, this is a sure fire winner for younger readers/listeners.

(Included at the back are a glossary, bibliography and suggestions for further reading).

For somewhat older readers is:

The Race to Space
Clive Gifford and Paul Daviz
Words & Pictures

With the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first moon landing fast approaching, here’s a book that traces the history of the space race between two super powers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, from the launch of Russia’s Sputnik to Neil Armstrong’s planting of a U.S. flag on the moon’s surface and those oft quoted words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” That must be etched into the brains of all who saw that landing broadcast live.

From then on the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union became more one of co-operation and collaboration than competition and the book documents the ‘handshake across space’ in the 1975 joint Apollo-Soyuz mission.

It concludes with more on the co-operation including the establishment of the International Space Station.

Illustrated, retro style by Paul Cadiz, in shades of red, yellow, blue plus black and white,

the book has clear explanations together with a liberal scattering of quotes from significant participants in the whole endeavour.

Recommended for individual reading at home and for KS2 class collections.

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