Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mission Control, this is Apollo

Many years ago, thanks to the wisdom of my Mother, my Father applied and worked for NASA in Florida. Because of their foresight my brother's, sister's and I had a fantastic opportunity as young children to experience several of the Apollo explorations while living in Satellite Beach, a town or two from Titusville. The home of the Kennedy Space Center. 

Back in February of this year our younger boys and I visited my Mother while she spent a month in Florida. On the way back from our wonderful trip I decided to take a detour by my childhood home and therefore take the boys to NASA..

Growing up close to a world of space innovation, or perhaps to the excitement of our parents, each of my brothers and sisters learned to appreciate the history of space exploration.

Be as it may, I was extremely pleased when both of my younger boys found the same love and fascination. Especially,  my sweet Alexander. Even before our trip, Alexander had built quite a collection of different aircraft's with Lego's and has since hoped for this everyday since we have gotten back from our trip.

In my haste to run out and buy these and many other things my son wants, we headed to the library instead. Thankfully he found just the book he has been "looking for all of his life!". 

He's 10.

Mission Control, This is Apollo
The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon

This 100+ page colorfully illustrated book was written by Andrew Chaikin. A man who has been writing about space exploration for 25 years and as chance would have it, actually met Alan Bean when he was 12 years old, back in 1969 and is pictured on the back insert cover. Indeed, an amusing recount of fate.

This book is recommended for ages between 9 - 12 with the idea of introducing them into space exploration at an early age. It is quite rich in text with a lot of information and has a great deal of interesting facts. I too found this book to be fascinating. It is definably a book that should be shared with your child when they have your full attention. It is well worth the time spent to refresh your history of what it took to have "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

Each mission from Apollo 1 to 17 is explained in great detail about space exploration's successes and failures. The book details each part of the rocket, who designed it, why it was designed and how. In it the author covers the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States and proves informative on even more pressing issues like what happens "when you gotta go".

This book certainly depicts a wonderful collection paintings detailing special moments of each mission. It  is  beautifully illustrated. As I stated earlier Alan Bean, astronaut, turned artist, began his artistic career after he returned from a Skylab mission in 1973.

All in all, we feel we found another hit during our library trip and give this book a thumbs up!  This book is definitely is a must for your budding astronaut.

In my opinion, the best part of this book is the dedication page where the author and illustrator both smartly thanked their Mother's. Another very important teaching tool. Need I say anymore?

Alexander feels that the artist pictures and his work is the number one reason of why we should buy the Apollo book. In fact, he suggested it would make a fine addition to our coffee table. I would suggest that if  you purchase this book, keep it open to page 2, simply as a constant reminder for your children to often Appreciate and Acknowledge their Mother.

(Right, Mom?)