My 5-year-old son is a huge fan of anything having to do with outer space. So when the history overview that we’ve been going through stopped at WWII (really? nothing’s happened in the last 70 years?), I decided that the Lunar Landing was one of the historical events that we’d have to study on our own. Besides the fact that my son had just had a conversation with my mother about her memories of the Lunar Landing, and the idea that she remembered this event completely intrigued him.
Moonshot: the Flight of Apollo 11 – by Brian Floca
I completely fell in love with this book. Brian Floca does an amazing job at blending scientific fact and artistic beauty. My son loves the detail in the illustrations — he kept asking questions about the structure of the rocket and the realities of life in space. So often books that have this level of scientific detail seem dry to me, yet the text in this book is poetic and lovely to read. As with most of Brian Floca’s books, leave plenty of time for your reading of this book — it’s pretty long for a picture book — but I think that you’ll find it’s well worth it!
Eight Days Gone – by Linda McReynolds
This is a very different sort of book than Moonshot. For one thing, it’s geared towards a slightly younger audience — this one will take 5 minutes to read, rather than 15-20 like Moonshot. The illustrations are more stylized and less detailed (but lovely nonetheless). The text has a tight poetic structure, and there are only four lines per page. For example: “Rocket orbits./ Engines fire./ Toward the moon./ Soaring higher.” This is a great introduction to the concept of the Lunar Landing, but if you’re wanting to really go into the history of the event, I would use both of these books together.
We also watched this short video with footage of the Lunar Landing.
What other books and resources has your family used to explore this subject?