Friday, September 17, 2010

Tom Corbett: A Trip to the Moon (1953) / Tom Corbett's Wonder Book of Space (1953)

Two books with different titles yet identical content. I don't share much juvenile space fiction but this one is an exception because of its beautiful art. One of the best remembered TV space heroes was Tom Corbett. Out of the many products that came out this is the one that appeals to my visionary sense.
Martin, Marcia. Illustrated by Frank Vaughn. Tom Corbett's wonder book of space / Tom Corbett: A Trip to the Moon. New York, Wonder Books. 18 p. 21 cm.
Around this time, along with the idea that space was a real place you can go, came illustration of children in space. The cover with Tom Corbett showing the children what the Moon is like is a vision of a future when children expected to go to the Moon some day.

This is strong stuff, to show that the Moon is more than a light in the sky, it is a place where you have to wear a spacesuit to walk around.

The artist Frank Vaughn paints a little like Norman Rockwell. His children are beaming with energy and excitement at going to such a cool place. Frank illustrated a number of children's books.
The other vision of the future, which I may have mentioned before, is the power of children staring back at the earth. The very idea of standing on the Moon and looking back to the Earth opens a child's mind to how big the universe really is. People have suggested that the photograph of the whole Earth from Apollo 8 led to the ecology movement because we suddenly saw how small the Earth was. This same vision from 15 years earlier leaves a similar impression on me.


  1. I was born in 1951. I have always fondly remembered a picture book I had, which helped foster a life-long interest in Space; back then my first grown-up tie had space-ships planets and meteors on it, I went on to read SF and Isaac Asimov's science articles, today I just get to follow Universe It has only taken a bit of searching, but here it is!

    Thanks so much for all the work on the Dreams Of Space site, it has brought back names from the past like Herbert S Zim, a favourite of mine, and Willy Ley.

  2. OMG!!!!!
    I read this book in Greek transalation when i was five or six.
    I google it and find your blog.It still in my posession.
    This book make me a forever space buff. THX.
    George Lamtzidis Athens Greece.