Regards to the Man in the Moon

Overview

Louie's unhappy because the other kids call his father "the junkman." But his father knows that it's not just junk: "All a person needs is some imagination! And a little of that stuff can take you right out of this world!"

So Louie builds the Imagination I, A spaceship fueled entirely by imagination - and blasts off into an adventure that will dazzle children and adults alike.

With the help of his imagination, his parents, and a ...

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Overview

Louie's unhappy because the other kids call his father "the junkman." But his father knows that it's not just junk: "All a person needs is some imagination! And a little of that stuff can take you right out of this world!"

So Louie builds the Imagination I, A spaceship fueled entirely by imagination - and blasts off into an adventure that will dazzle children and adults alike.

With the help of his imagination, his parents, and a few scraps of junk, Louie and his friends travel through space.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Louie's spaceship is made of junk, but all the kids want to go for a ride, in this imaginative adventure. A Reading Rainbow selection. Ages 5-9. (August)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Louie proves that one man's junk is another's treasure in this reissue of a Keats classic. While the other kids snickered, Louie employed his imagination to create a space ship from odds and ends of junk that took him from the confines of his city landscape to the far reaches of outer space. With his pal Susie on board, they looked down on Earth, swung by Saturn, and encountered worlds only they could imagine. Along the way they rescued friends Ziggie and Ruthie in their bathtub ship when their imagination began to falter and they feared being stuck in space forever. Just in time for the fortieth anniversary of man's landing on the moon, this salute to the power of imagination and the wonders of space travel should capture the hearts of a new generation of children. Keats' signature collage and paint illustrations are bright pops of color against the inky blackness of outer space and are filled with all the excitement and wonder such a journey could produce. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
An imaginative child may be drawn to this book by Ezra Jack Keats, who is famous for his collage-style illustrations and ability to capture the extraordinary nature of the ordinary world. Louie and Susie transform a piece of junk into a spacecraft, travel into space, survive a rock storm, rescue two skeptical friends and return home to inspire other kids to embark on imaginative adventures. 1987 (orig.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590078207
  • Publisher: Collier Macmillan Ltd
  • Publication date: 1/1/1981
  • Pages: 36

Meet the Author

Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983) is the Caldecott Medal winning author of The Snowy Day, which broke ground in 1962 as one of the first picture books for young children to portray a realistic, multi-cultural urban setting. Since its initial publication, The Snowy Day has come to be regarded as both a children’s classic and one of the most important picture books ever written/illustrated. Ezra Jack Keats’ legacy lives on in the popularity of his most famous character, Peter—the star of The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Peter's Chair, A Letter to Amy, Goggles, and others. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation online at www.ezra-jack-keats.org.

Biography

When Ezra Jack Keats began creating children's books in the 1960s, he noticed something missing from the genre and chose to correct it.

Keats had already illustrated several kids' books and was starting his second when he made a simple but important decision: The main character would be black. "None of the manuscripts I'd been illustrating featured any black kids-except for token blacks in the background," Keats later wrote. "My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along."

The character, Peter, debuted in The Snowy Day, which won a Caldecott Medal. Perhaps the strongest statement Keats made about race at the time was making ethnicity (his first book's protagonist was a Puerto Rican boy) completely incidental to the story. The books' themes are universal: In the case of Snowy Day, a boy discovers the joy of angel-making, sledding, and all the other things kids do on a free winter day.

The child of immigrants, Keats grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, in relative poverty. Although his gifts with pencil and paint were obvious from a young age, his father, a waiter, discouraged his artistic ambitions, fearing it would be too hard for his son to make a living. When he brought home tubes of paint for Ezra, he would tell the boy that hard-up artist customers had swapped their paint for soup. When his father died, however, Keats discovered a stash of newspaper clippings: his father had carefully saved the notices of all of Ezra's artistic prizes and achievements.

Once established as a creator of children's books, Keats developed a stable of characters -- including the adventurous Peter, a shy boy named Louie, and a sympathetic girl named Amy -- who often resurfaced over the author's twenty-odd years of storymaking. Often taking place in urban settings and illustrated in Keats's hallmark gouache and collage style, the stories chronicle the discoveries, pleasures, and fears of being a kid: coping with a new sibling, befriending a previously scary blind neighbor, entering a pet show, or finding a pair of goggles.

Keats tackled the topic of single parenthood in Louie's Search, where Louie accidentally discovers a husband for his mom. Even when characters behave oddly or badly (as in the case of Louie's new dad, who initially accuses the boy of stealing from his junk truck), their innate goodness is always revealed. Each title exemplifies Keats's faith in people.

With his muted, evocative images and his commitment towards diversity, Keats made children's literature vivid and human in a way it had never been before.

Good To Know

In the late 1930s, Keats worked as a mural painter on WPA projects. He entered the Army in 1943, where he designed camouflage patterns.

Later, Keats created five greeting cards about peace for UNICEF's first greeting card season ... A million cards were sold that year.

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi is the sole repository for Ezra Jack Keats's archives.

A life-size bronze statue of Peter, Willie, and Peter's chair sits in Imagination Playground in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacob Ezra Katz (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 11, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1983
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

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