If you know a moon-struck youngster gobbling up the 30th anniversary of that great step for mankind, Carole Stott's "Moon Landing" will be as welcome as green cheese.
Part of DK's Discoveries series, this full-color book blends history and encyclopedia in a kinetic narration of the moon race.
The story starts by shooting through an introduction to 20th-century rocket science. Stott then goes into orbit around the 1960s, with brief segments on the Russian success at putting a man in space, the US planning missions, and the Saturn rocket. Later segments cover the moon rover, the Apollo 13 thrill-ride, and the future of moon colonies. (The tragedies that struck the Russian and US space program along the way are omitted.)
When the pages aren't big enough, illustrator Richard Bonson turns the book vertically and uses a full two-page spread. When even that won't do - to illustrate the first moon landing - he blasts into a four-page foldout.
Each segment gives a brief summary of some significant event - the fiery reentry into Earth's atmosphere, for instance - and then breaks into a multitude of captions, explanations, definitions, annotations, and famous quotations, enough to keep eyes flying around the page.
The vocabulary will challenge young readers, but there's plenty to look at while being read to. DK's layouts are irresistible. This publisher knows how to publish intellectual snacks for a generation moving from "Where's Waldo?" to MTV. Combining photos, artists' renderings, line drawings, and cut-aways, the pages of "Moon Landing" satisfy endless studying.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society