How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers: A Simple but Brilliant Plan in 24 Easy Steps

How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers: A Simple but Brilliant Plan in 24 Easy Steps

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by Mordicai Gerstein
     
 

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In this simple, step-by-step instructional picture book, learn how you too can visit the moon on your bicycle! All you need is a very long garden hose, a very large slingshot, a borrowed spacesuit, and a bicycle . . . and plenty of imagination. With tongue firmly in cheek, Caldecott Medal winner Mordicai Gerstein outlines the steps needed in glorious comic

Overview

In this simple, step-by-step instructional picture book, learn how you too can visit the moon on your bicycle! All you need is a very long garden hose, a very large slingshot, a borrowed spacesuit, and a bicycle . . . and plenty of imagination. With tongue firmly in cheek, Caldecott Medal winner Mordicai Gerstein outlines the steps needed in glorious comic book-style panels and a deadpan voice, leaving nothing out: the food you'll eat, how to deal with loneliness in space, how to water those sunflower seeds once they're planted—even how to deal with the media attention back home after a successful trip. An inspired work of whimsy, How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers is a spacefaring adventure for daydreamers and a starter kit for the imagination.

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Pamela Paul
Gerstein, who won a Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, has cooked up another winning story about far-flung dreams and their realization.
Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Medalist Gerstein (The Man Who Walked Between the Towers) kicks his imagination into high gear in this fantastical how-to book. A boy with spiky red hair and glasses shares his 24-step plan for planting sunflowers on the moon to cheer it up (Gerstein portrays it with droopy eyes and a frown). The Rube Goldberg–worthy expedition, chronicled in exuberant cartoon panels and comically deadpan narration, involves creating a giant slingshot to launch a flag pole/anchor harpoon into the moon (the satellite looks understandably alarmed as the boy’s homemade missile approaches); then, wearing a spacesuit kindly donated by NASA, one can simply bicycle up to the moon on the 238,900 miles of garden hose attached to the harpoon (“Your mother will be sobbing, your father will shake your hand, and everyone else will say good luck and take care”). Throughout, the boy’s emotions are genuine and infectious: he’s moved by the beauty of Earth from space, shares feelings of loneliness on his journey, and is elated to see the results of his work after he returns home. Ages 4–8. Agent: Joan Raines, Raines & Raines. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“A grand flight of fancy perfect for a new generation of dreamers and planners.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Gerstein, a Caldecott-winning illustrator, offers a uniquely entertaining picture book that glows with the satisfaction of a boy who knows he could travel to the moon.” —Booklist, starred review

“...genuine and infectious...” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers . . . are sure to enjoy the ride.” —School Library Journal

“There’s enough reference here to the actual challenges of space travel to justify a quirky side trip in a solar system science unit—not that flights of fancy require justification.” — BCCB

Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Caldecott Medal Winner Mordicai Gerstein has once again sent young readers scampering up a tightrope, only this time, instead of The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, it is a young man bicycling to the moon to cheer it up. In a clever twenty-four step plan, a young inventor creates a "simple but brilliant" resource for aspiring space travelers. How about 2,000 used truck inner tubes for a slingshot? Now that is clever. The text and illustrations build and build as we travel along on this incredible journey. The details including clamps for the bicycle (how else would a bicycle stay on a garden hose tightrope if it were not clamped on?) and a NASA space suit (how else could the young inventor go into the moon's atmosphere?) are all added in a way that even skeptical young readers will suspend their disbelief and think that, maybe, just maybe, they could bicycle to the moon to plant sunflowers. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—The "can-do" attitude of this redheaded, gap-toothed hero; the outlandish plot; and quirky caricatures conjure up Gerstein's collaboration with Elizabeth Levy in the popular "Something Queer" series (Delacorte). The sensitive boy has always thought that the full moon looked sad. When his parents suggest that loneliness may be the cause, he determines that sunflowers are the solution. Speaking in the first and second persons, he describes his plan in illustrated steps, because "with homework, soccer, violin, and all that other stuff…I never had the time to carry it out…. Maybe it will be you!" In richly saturated panels, Gerstein imagines the things a child would gather to create a secure path between Earth and its moon-one that could also be used to water the plants. He suggests collecting 2000 used truck inner tubes (Uncle Russell has them), old garden hoses, an anchor, a flagpole, a long rubber band, and a good friend-to help create the giant slingshot that will launch 238,900 miles of hose/tightrope into space. Help from NASA and practice balancing a bicycle on a backyard hose would presumably prepare one for the longer trip. En route, the scenes switch to soaring vistas on full spreads. The protagonist imagines pedaling through clouds, sleeping within a panoramic sunset topped by twinkling stars, bouncing through craters with seeds and nozzle. Depending on which side of the brain readers favor, this story will either allow them to discriminate between fact and fiction or delight in the suspension of disbelief. Either way, they are sure to enjoy the ride.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Sensing that the moon needs cheering up, a young inventor provides instructions for an expedition to plant sunflowers there. Gerstein, who profiled The Man Who Walked Between the Towers in 2003, had begun by imagining an even greater challenge, which he describes here. Addressing readers directly, his busy narrator offers a "simple but brilliant" 24-step plan for space travel using 2,000 used truck inner tubes for a slingshot; 238,900 miles of garden hose for a tightrope to the moon; and a suit borrowed from NASA. Special clamps will help the bicycle stay on the hose, which serves double duty; it's also a conduit for water for the plants. Step by step and sub-step, the boy explains the process. His instructions are straightforward but cheerfully outlandish. They include details with special appeal for listeners (the "really cool sound" of the launch). The pacing is perfect, and illustrations add to the humor. (Pay careful attention to the moon's changing expressions.) Pen-and-ink and oil-painted panels expand to show the journey. Captions, which had been securely attached to the edges of the frames while the boy was earthbound, float around on full-bleed double-page spreads until they sink back to the bottoms of the concluding panels. The whole is a grand flight of fancy perfect for a new generation of dreamers and planners. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596435124
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
411,363
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.64(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
NC690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of some thirty books for children, including the 2004 Caldecott Medal winner, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. A four-time winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award, his books include fantasy, Biblical retellings, biography, folklore, and alphabets and other works for preschoolers. He lives in Westhampton, Massachusetts.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Northhampton, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
November 25, 1935
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
Chouinard Institute of Art
Website:
http://www.mordicaigerstein.com

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How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers: A Simple but Brilliant Plan in 24 Easy Steps 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Elmoble More than 1 year ago
I just love this book. I have read it over 80 kids already. The book makes a trip to the moon simple, just 24 steps.  Haha