Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Trip in Space (1968)

A Trip in Space is the fictional story of astronauts traveling in space. It finishes out my "storybook month" showing how fantasy and reality can get blended in these children's books.  The question I have is if it is about an occupation (like astronaut) and it shows what they do without any special "extra" adventure is it fictional because it is essentially a composite portrait rather than about a specific person? Or is it simply a career book?

The illustrations in this book are very nice.

Grant, Bruce. Illustrated by Fleishman, Seymour. A Trip in Space. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co. (22 p.) 21 cm. Illustrated Boards.

They simplify the astronauts' journey but render the essential facts well. I like very much the aerial view of the swamps of Cape Kennedy  as a rocket is launched. A nice way to show the geography of the area.

Their vehicle looks like an early Apollo capsule but their suits are more Mercury than Apollo.

This is my favorite illustration showing the sun's rays refracting into rainbows at the edge of earth's atmosphere.

A nice description of how they prepare for re-entry.

What would it be like to go into space?

"Out of this world, grinned Larry"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Johnny's Space Trip (1954)

Back to the imaginative past and Johnny's Space Trip. This 1954 fictional book captures the spirit of doing it for yourself as Johnny and his friends build (and dream of) a spaceship for a journey from their backyard. It is pure fantasy but as you will see there is a scientific bent to what Johnny wants to bring.

Sells, Mike. Illustrated by Charles Stone. Johnny's Space Trip. Cross Publications, Inc., New York, 1954.

So what would/did you take on a space trip to the Moon? I know I imagined this trip in a number of ways. I think that was one of the reasons that Space Food Sticks, Tang, and other space age food were so interesting to me. I was practicing for the "diet of the future."

 This is interesting that he wants to check if his spacesuit is airtight before wearing it.

This selection of supplies is pretty reasonable, especially the big box of candy bars.  However I am a little worried about the tank of oxygen!  While very useful, you do wonder if this was something Johnny had around the house.

A beautiful take-off and the rocket seems to just soar across the sky. Where do you think Johnny should go?

Johnny heads for the Moon. Of course since he has just an afternoon for the voyage he was not planning to land. Notice that they passed the "space platform" on their way to the Moon and were going 6000 miles an hour.  The book also discussed the question of where do moon craters come from.

Of course returning to Earth is the easiest part of the journey, it is downhill all the way. Welcome home Johnny!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Adventure in Space (1968)

From the fanciful to the realistic. An Adventure in Space shows a trip to the Moon in simplified terms. It encourages students to study science and prepare for our future in space.

An Adventure in Space. Illustrated by P.A. Bertolino. Published by the Smithsonian Institution with permission of General Electric Company, Missile & Space Division.(24 p.) 22 cm. Softcover.

 A nice little educational pamphlet for older students about traveling to the Moon. Statements from Jame A. Lovell, Jr. inside the front cover and by Wernher von Braun inside the back.

The drawings are very simple and show 3 boys as they take a trip to the Moon.

The enthusiasm for the flight shows on the boys' faces. And the book does a good job of making it feel like an adventure.

What child doesn't want to lift his friend on the Moon?

Of course there is no adventure without your teachers and parents having you do your homework. The pamphlet ends with a final message about preparing for the future.

And back to class....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

As We Were Flying on a Rocket Story -part 2 (1961)

Too much to show in one post, here are the further adventures of our Soviet toy astronauts. For the previous post see here:


 I think this was their exploration of Venus. It is the only explanation I have for the ocean and the attack by the giant crab!

They also had some other adventures, but I will have to guess where.

 The Asteroids?

Interplanetary space?

 Finally they turned around and headed for home.

 Home can be a strange place too, as they examine a sleeping child through the excellent soviet spy satellite system.
And what would a return to Earth be without a triumphant parade? Well if you are as small as our explorers, maybe just up to the roof for some fireworks instead.