As a grade schooler in the 1960s space flight was everywhere and I couldn't read enough about it. But as other interests set in I left my space obsession behind as a teenager. I followed space news through the late 70s and 80s but was not as I said "obsessed". Around 1990 I moved to Orange County and had a huge number of changes in my life happening all at once. Among other things I found the need to have a cheap hobby to keep me going.
I found when I went to used bookstores and library sales there were a huge number of children's spaceflight books. Most of these books were .25 and .50 so I couldn't help but pick up those that brought back memories of my space age youth.
The crystallization of this turning into a collection was my wife saying she had an old space book from her childhood at home and did I want it? Upon seeing You will go to the moon I was completely swept back to an age of optimism. I did think I was going to live on the moon someday. When and how had that dream changed?
This was not my book but rather the first edition of the book. It was an "I can read it all by myself Beginner Books " (195/195) produced under the supervision of Dr. Seuss. It has a dust jacket with an illustration of a boy observing a rocket take off. My book was this one, the one without the rocket:
The story concerns an imaginary trip to the Moon taken by a young boy and his adult friend. The rocket, and space station, are very much Von Braun style, while the Moon landing craft and Moon base are more British Interplanetary Society designs. The cover states that for accuracy the manuscript was submitted to the Office of the Director of Research and Development of the United States Air Force. Aimed at beginning readers it went into multiple printings through the Beginner Books Club.
It was reprinted endlessly and traveled to Britain to be reprinted there in 1962.
The book was updated in 1971. The illustrations after 10 years of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo looked quaint.
It was updated from the 1959 edition by reusing the same text and redrawing and "updating" the illustrations so that the spacesuits and spacecrafts more resemble those of the Apollo program.
The crew in the ships looks dressed more Star Trek than NASA in their long sleeve polo shirts. The circular space stations is still there but the lunar landing craft is an odd hybrid of the LEM and the Command module.
Somehow the moon base is not as inspiring but it still make me want to go to the moon. This updating was also reprinted in Great Britain in 1973 under the title Going to the moon.