Balloon to the Moon tells the story of the human journey into space. Starting from the first balloon flight in 1783 it tracks developments in flight and space travel and how they led to men walking on the moon 50 years ago on July 20th 1969.
Balloon to the Moon starts with the fascinating story of French brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne, and their experiments with balloon flights. The countdown to one continues as we are introduced to The First Aircraft, Rockets, Humans in Space and Race to the Moon. Chapter one, Countdown, is full of information about the days before the 1969 moon landing up to the point where Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took their historic steps on the moon.
The final pages of the book look at the subsequent Apollo landings that, including a double spread comic strip which tells the story of three astronauts’ dramatic rescue from Apollo 13 which was damaged when an oxygen tank blew up. There’s also a look into the future – whether humans will be able to travel in space and how you can become an astronaut.
Balloon to the Moon is packed with so many fascinating facts and so much amazing information. We board planes or watch astronauts in space and it is fascinating to read about how we have reached that point. Early aviators are introduced as are animals who have flown in space. The development of rockets is shown, the contributions that various countries have made to space exploration as well as a fascinating page on how space travel has affected our lives through the invention of flameproof materials, freeze dried food and memory foam.
Chris Nielsen’s illustrations have a fabulous retro feel, they’re very similar to images I remember from books in the 1960s. They include comic strips, bold double spreads and spreads where illustration and text are intertwined to portray information. We love the way that small bite-sized chunks of information are supported by such wonderful illustrations.
We have learnt a lot about the development of flight, space travel and the history of the moon landing. This would be a brilliant book to include in a classroom topic on space and planets. It’s been really interesting to learn about the development of the Apollo programme and what we have discovered from the various Apollo missions and their subsequent moon landings.
Thank you to Big Picture Press for sending a copy of this fabulous book. Our review can’t possibly cover all the amazing facts and fascinating information that it includes. It’s a wonderful book for space lovers, young and old!