Friday, July 10, 2020

Seven Into Space: The Story of the Mercury Astronauts (1960)


Not a lot of illustrations, mostly black and white photos but an amazing cover.  It is a book about the Mercury 7 and what they will need to train for spaceflight.

Bell, Joseph N. Seven into Space: The Story of the Mercury Astronauts. Chicago: Popular Mechanics Co. (192 p.) 1960.


 A special gift to a special boy...






Friday, July 3, 2020

Satellites in Outer Space (1960)

We start off July with a set of early 1960-1962 children's books. Most of the illustrations were in black and white but are still impressive for their beauty. 

One of the earliest children's book by Isaac Asimov.  The illustration of satellites by John Polgreen are especially beautiful.

Asimov, Isaac. Illustrated by Polgreen, John. Satellites in Outer Space. New York: Random House. (79 p.) 1960.






 I had never seen this illustrations of the size of these early satellites scaled to a human.




Friday, June 26, 2020

Let's Go On A Space Shuttle (1975)



There were a variety of the "Let's Go On A..."  This one has some very nice drawings of the proposed space shuttle.

Chester, Michael. Illustrated by Micale, Albert. Let’s Go on a Space Shuttle. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. (45 p.) 1975.










 I like the hug for the children of the returning astronaut. I have finished watching the first season of "For All Mankind" and the moments of the impact on children of having an astronaut parent are touching to watch. It also reminds us how frequent they hoped the launches would be. This particular astronaut only gets 30 days on the ground before he needs to launch again.


I also like this shuttle to shuttle rescue mission.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Rockets and Satellites (1961)



I blogged about this book in 2010 so it is time for a refresh of the post with more and better images. Franklyn Branley was one of the major writers of children's science books with more than 50 books over his career. The art design of this book is very unique and minimalistic.

Branley, Franklyn. Illustrated by Sokol, Bill. Rockets and Satellites. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. (40 p.) 1961.


 The artist uses the whole double page spread to create a spacious feel.

 I find this one surprisingly disturbing with objects from the sky falling on the child.


 Here is another falling object💀💀💀
 This illustration shows a very short term way of capturing a satellite when it returns. These often turned out to be spy satellites returning film.


Friday, June 12, 2020

Rocky, The Rocket Mouse (1961)



Rocky, the Rocket Mouse was a fictional story about a research rodent in the rocketry program.It was published a little late for the real testing program but 1961 was the height of the space race so maybe it had been waiting for a while to be published. On the other hand I don't think mice were sent to the moon so maybe it was newly written.



Bergey, Alyce. Illustrated by Lawrence Spiegel. Rocky, The Rocket Mouse.
Minneapolis : T.S. Denison, 29 cm. 1961.






 "I think he is just the mouse we have been looking for."




 I like the miniature space couch and cabin.


 "Maybe somewhere I could find that green cheese Mama had told me about" (What are we teaching our children?)




He is glad to be put back into a cage even if he has to take that "nasty red powder."


Friday, June 5, 2020

We Will Be Cosmonauts (1970)


A boring book with a great cover.  well not boring but I have no Ukrainian so I can't appreciate it enough. It is a book of astronaut songs in Ukrainian for preschoolers. The idea is great so I wanted to share the cover, the list of songs, and one full song from the book.

We will be Cosmonauts. K. Myaskov. Kiev : Musical Ukrainee. (24 p.) 28 cm. 1970.

 The songs are (via google translate): we will be cosmonauts, stars, snowflakes, our driver, A SONG ABOUT ZABUDKA (?), Dad and I, winter (?)
 So here is the full score  (and all verses) to the first song in the book "We will be cosmonauts"




Friday, May 29, 2020

Weekly Reader-April 28 (1952)


Another early Weekly Reader with predictions about spaceflight. "When will we reach outer space?"




 I really enjoy looking at the reading comprehension questions and the 'questions for discussion'. It sparks the imagination for what it might have been like to contemplate spaceflight when it seemed so far off.
Could not resist this advertisement for Playtime Weekly Reader (summer edition). I remember doing this one summer just to get something in the mail every week.