Friday, June 5, 2015

Atom, the Little Moon Monkey (1970)

So here is my sad posting for you. Those with sensitive natures will want to skip this one. For  wherever I post a book about animals in space I regularly get a comment that I have not reminded people that many of the animals died during their "missions."

So Atom, the Little Moon Monkey, is the solution (SPOILER ALERT!!!). Atom dies at the end of this beautiful and peculiar children's book. Yes I was shocked when I first read this one but at least (as you will see) he gets to go to monkey heaven. I quote:

Atom, the little moon monkey. Anne Philipe. Illustrated by Jacqueline Duhème. New York : Harlan Quist, 1970. 28 p. 29 cm. "A Here-and-There book."

He loves another but has to be separated from her.

So very beautiful up to this point. Highly colorful abstract and impressionistic illustrations. NOW IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE SKIP THESE FINAL ILLUSTRATIONS!

 The book explains that suddenly Atom is not lonely or cold any more. They do not show his death simply he is joined with his true love in their jungle paradise. The dangers of biomedical space research for children. :)


  1. Beautiful illustrations to what is, essentially, a horror story...

  2. From the artwork and text provided here (unless there is more of the story and/or text you have not shown), the only inference shown or stated is that the monkey eventually returns to Earth safely and is re-united with his mate. Or did you just SURMISE that the monkey dies during the mission because some space-test animals have died in space, and so THIS animal also died in space, and so you SURMISED the author simply did not want to sadden children by showing or mentioning the animal's death ?

    1. Basically I skipped some final text. The text suddenly switches from deep space to this dream-like nirvana. So I suggested this ending. The reality was we chose to use animal to gain valuable information so we could safely send people.