The inspiring life of Neil Armstrong, set to music.
"Neil was born on an August morn" and, to hear Saunders tell it, pointed out the window at the moon as he lay in his crib. When he's old enough, he climbs out and shakes his sleeping father awake, declaring "I want to go to the moon!" Dad explains gently that rocket ships are just in storybooks, that he'll never go to the moon. But Neil holds on to his dream, building a rocket ship that looks like a Rube Goldberg contraption and studying exhaustively. His teachers agree that it's good to have a goal, "but yours is too extreme." When he finishes college, the only job he can find is working at night as a dishwasher, but this leaves him time to practice flying during the day. In 1962, he becomes an astronaut, "the finest of the finest," and in 1969, a general asks Neil the question he's waited all his life to hear: "Do you want to go to the moon?" and the rest, as they say, is history. The enclosed CD puts the rhyming text of the book to pleasant music. Nugent's illustrations are colorful, and the solid message is presented with upbeat clarity. But Saunders' writing is often clumsy, and the tone of the story inconsistent.
Sunny, but unlikely to add much to children's knowledge. (Picture book. 3-5)