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Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon
     

Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon

by Andrew Chaikin, Alan Bean (Illustrator), Victoria Kohl
 

July 20, 1969, marked one of the climactic moments in our history-the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it is only one piece of a magnificent story. Mission Control, This Is Apollo, by the acclaimed Andrew Chaikin (author of A Man on the Moon, basis of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon), recounts space history from the Mercury

Overview

July 20, 1969, marked one of the climactic moments in our history-the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it is only one piece of a magnificent story. Mission Control, This Is Apollo, by the acclaimed Andrew Chaikin (author of A Man on the Moon, basis of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon), recounts space history from the Mercury missions through Apollo 17 and beyond. It is illustrated with stunning full-color paintings by astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moon with Pete Conrad on Apollo 12 and has devoted his post-NASA life to creating art. Handsome, informative, and dramatic, this is no textbook-it is the tale of humankind's greatest adventure in the last frontier: space.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
A beautiful, insightful, and highly readable presentation of the Apollo missions., starred review
Horn Book
. . . outstanding history of the piloted Apollo missions . . . starred review
VOYA - Marilyn Brien
This unique portrait of the Apollo voyages is a remarkable combination of intimate details of the space flights by one of the astronauts, historical and scientific details about the mission, and paintings by one of the astronauts. The extended introduction presents the mindset of America after Sputnik that set the stage for America's space program. Students will delight in details such as toilet procedures, meals, and clothing for moon walking. Alan Bean's paintings, which comprise a major part of the book, are accompanied by reflections from the artist/astronaut. He painted what he saw from his astronaut-artist's eye as Claude Monet might have done, rather than from his astronaut-geologist's eye. Each portrayal of an Apollo voyage provides personal details of the astronauts and paintings inspired by that voyage, as well as the expected details. Illustrations also include photographs from the voyages, such as earthrise from the moon's orbit, and photos of preparations. This book is truly a labor of love. It has places in art instruction and American history as well as science. It is identified as appropriate for ages eight to twelve, but the group that will most appreciate the book are those seniors who lived through these exciting days. It is indeed an important book for libraries serving all ages of readers. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Along with being based at least as much on personal interviews as on documentary and other sources, this album-sized history of the Apollo missions is also set apart by its unique illustrations. A former astronaut who walked on the Moon as part of the Apollo 12 crew, Bean has been for many years a full-time fine artist. He incorporates into moonscapes, spacecraft, and suited-up astronauts done over the course of his artistic career not only an unusually personal perspective, but also actual bits of moon dust, used mission patches, and other well-traveled memorabilia. He also provides illuminating, sometimes eloquent commentary in captions and a closing statement. Though the authors present an uncomplicated version of events with almost no discussion of the exclusion of women from the astronaut corps, for instance, and quoting Neil Armstrong's famous line as "one small step for a man" rather than what he actually said, they do tuck in memorable anecdotes (to the question "What's the most beautiful thing you saw in space?" an astronaut replies, "Urine dump at sunset"). They effectively highlight the Apollo program's magnificent achievements, as well as its moments of tension and tragedy. Supplemented with an admixture of photos and labeled diagrams, the large-scale art adds a dazzling visual element to this grand commemoration.-John Peters, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Based on interviews with 28 astronauts, this history of the Apollo program masterfully describes the missions and personalizes them with astronauts' own words. Chaikin starts with a brief overview of its origins and of the Mercury and Gemini missions. He then highlights the significance of each manned Apollo mission in chronological chapters, with full-page sidebars on such topics as food, TV coverage, space sickness and going to the bathroom in space. The handsome design has many photographs, diagrams of the rockets and modules and more than 30 well-reproduced paintings by Apollo 12 astronaut Bean. Often using pastels instead of the moon's grays, his very tactile style includes footprints from his lunar boots embedded in the most recent paintings, a technique described in an appendix. The large pictures of moonscapes, astronauts in spacesuits and equipment, which have similar styles and palettes, get repetitive but benefit from the long captions in which Bean adds personal details and reflects on his role as an artist. (authors' note, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670011568
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/28/2009
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
1150L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
A beautiful, insightful, and highly readable presentation of the Apollo missions. —Booklist, starred review

They effectively highlight the Apollo program's magnificent achievements, as well as its moments of tension and tragedy. Supplemented with an admixture of photos and labeled diagrams, the large-scale art adds a dazzling visual element to this grand commemoration. —School Library Journal, starred review

This unique portrait of the Apollo voyages is a remarkable combination of intimate details of the space flights, historical and scientific details about the missions, and paintings by one of the astronauts. The extended introduction presents the mindset of America after Sputnik that set the stage for America’s space program. Students will delight in details such as toilet procedures, meals, and clothing for moon walking. — VOYA, starred review

Meet the Author

Andrew Chaikin is the author of the acclaimed A Man on the Moon and several other books about space. He is a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition and had appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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