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EIGHT DAYS GONE by Linda McReynolds


by Linda McReynolds, illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-58089-364-0
Publisher: Charlesbridge

The momentous Apollo 11 mission unfolds in pictures and rhyming verse.

Eighteen two-page spreads illustrate the story, and McReynolds tells it in tight four-line verses using identical rhyme schemes, beginning with "Hundreds gather. / Hot July. / Spaceship ready— / set to fly." The rocket blasts into space, begins its orbit, and, after a uniform check, the lunar module disconnects and lands safely on the moon. The control room watches intently. Michael Collins stays with Columbia, "Waits, observing, / tracking trip." Neil Armstrong is the first to walk on the moon ("Armstrong makes his / one small step. / Giant leap from / years of prep"), and Buzz Aldrin? Well ... "Edwin Aldrin / hops around. / Boot prints left on / ashen ground." O'Rourke's richly detailed illustrations are done in oils, with black, white and many shades of gray predominating. They often resemble photographs, with the exception of the people, who look jarringly like Playskool figures. The story has often been written for children before, but never as comprehensively yet concisely for the very young. The rhyme scheme and flat perspectives, if not palette, recall Dan Yaccarino's splendid Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon (1997). An author's note and bibliography extend the experience, though the books listed notably omit the many fine titles published recently on the subject.

Still, nifty.  (Informational picture book. 3-6)