One Giant Leap

One Giant Leap

5.0 1
by Robert Burleigh, Mike Wimmer
     
 

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"The sense of immediacy is irresistible and will cause children who consider the event just ancient history to feel as if they too had left footprints on that distant, dusty surface."
School Library Journal

Only July 29, 1969, as Americans sat glued to their televisions and radios, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did the seemingly

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Overview

"The sense of immediacy is irresistible and will cause children who consider the event just ancient history to feel as if they too had left footprints on that distant, dusty surface."
School Library Journal

Only July 29, 1969, as Americans sat glued to their televisions and radios, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did the seemingly impossible—somthing humans had dreamed of doing for centuries: They traveled 240,000 miles through space and set foot on the moon. One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind. This achievement not only brought the moon within reach, but now everything seemed possible. If it could be imagined, it could be done.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the American landing on the moon, Burleigh vividly recreates the exciting story of the astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin as they ride the Eagle landing craft down to the moon. As Collins orbits in the Columbia above, they don their spacesuits and go out onto the moon's surface. They use their two hours to explore, collect rocks, and plant an American flag. Their awe is evident. They then must launch the Eagle for a successful return to dock with the Columbia. Anxiety gives way to relief as they are then on their way back to their "fragile, beautiful home," Earth. From the image of the pockmarked lunar surface on the end pages contrasting with the space-suited astronauts on the jacket we are led to anticipate high adventure. Wimmer uses oil paints to portray detailed interior and exterior naturalistic views. We see Armstrong watching the many dials on the controls. The Eagle sits in a vast, empty landscape with the Earth a distant sphere. The striped parachutes carry the space capsule to a safe landing in the ocean, bringing the thrilling ride to an end. Burleigh adds a note on the space program and its possible future. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

Distinguished language and compelling imagery make this commemoration of the first Moon landing's 40th anniversary particularly intense. In characteristically dramatic free verse, Burleigh begins with the descent of the Eagle and the tense search for a safe spot to land. He describes the two astronauts' first impressions of the "endless, mysterious wasteland" all around, follows Armstrong and Aldrin down the ladder as they take those historic first steps and then, all too soon, come back aboard for an uncomfortable night, a suspenseful takeoff ("No backing up. No doing it again. No second try./They know one thing only: failure means death"), the rendezvous with Michael Collins and the Columbia , and the triumphant return to "Earth: fragile, beautiful, home." Greenish light lends an eldritch glow to Wimmer's full-page, sometimes full-spread close-up views of the lunar landscape, the three absorbed astronauts, and their accurately rendered gear and spacecraft. The sense of immediacy is irresistible and will cause children who consider the event just ancient history to feel as if they too had left footprints on that distant, dusty surface.-John Peters, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
With customarily heightened language, Burleigh's lengthy free-verse poem describes the moments between the landing of the Eagle on the lunar surface and the Columbia's return to "fragile, beautiful home." In sentences rarely longer than a line, the present-tense text provides an almost sportscasterly narration of the events: "[Armstrong] jumps to the landing leg's round footpad. / He holds on. He pauses. He points his right foot and steps off." The slow cadence should build excitement, but somehow the accretion of minutiae bogs this account down instead of giving young readers graspable details to relish. The line-after-line look of this poem, with few breaks to assist in pacing, results in an undifferentiated emotional tone that gives the narrative lie to such lines as, "They feel part of something so much larger than themselves." Wimmer's heroic full-bleed paintings employ a midnight-blue palette and feature largely unsurprising compositions. Taken together, text and illustrations make this one to skip over in a season chock-full of moon landings. (Informational picture book. 6-10)
From the Publisher
"The sense of immediacy is irresistible and will cause children who consider the event just ancient history to feel as if they too had left footprints on that distant, dusty surface."
School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399238833
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/02/2009
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
648,485
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Burleigh has authored more than thirty children’s books, many of them biographies of professional sports stars, among them Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Jorge Posada, and the New York Times bestselling Game Day as told by Ronde and Tiki Barber.

Mike Wimmer grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He studied art at the University of Oklahoma.

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