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Picture Book Thursday: And the Cow Jumped Over the Moon

Icarus Icarus at the Edge of Time
Written by Brian Greene
Art Direction & Design by Chip Kidd
Ages 10-Adult

Moonpowder Moonpowder
Written and Illustrated by John Rocco
Ages 5-8

AlmostastronautsAlmost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Written and Illustrated by Tanya Lee Stone
Candlewick Press
Ages 10 and up

Based on this post's title you had a 50/50 shot at guessing this posting's theme. By now you've probably figured out I'm not focusing on our bovine friends but on the moon itself. So, without further ado...
Icarus at the Edge of Time
Presented in a board book format with black edges, this book is intriguing from the get-go. Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, tells the story of the star ship Proxima and its quest to find intelligent life. In an Icarus-like twist, the main character gets too close to a black hole with surprising results. 

Older students will find the story and subject matter fascinating and the photographs entrancing. I keep rereading the note in the back of the book on black holes in the hope that I'll come to fully understand them. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

Suffering from nightmares, young Eli is enlisted by the moon to use his amazing fix-it capabilities on the "dream tank" to restore pleasant dreams to all. With his quest completed, Eli is treated to a surprise himself.

Readers will immediately be struck by John Rocco's beautiful use of light and shadow in his illustrations. Combine that with the layout of the book and readers are treated to a book reminiscent of Audrey Wood's work.Nice book, John!

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
OK, this technically isn't a picture book but it makes a fine addition to any classroom study of space. Creating a book chock full of photographs, quotes, and interviews, Tanya Lee Stone does a wonderful job of tracing women and their valuable contributions to space exploration.

She also does a nice job of framing the changing roles of men and women through time. And boy, how times have changed. It's mind boggling to me to think that congressional hearings were held around this issue:

Congressional hearing,  July 17, 1962  "Cobb said, 'We seek, only, a place in our nation's space future without discrimination.  We ask as citizens of this nation to be allowed to participate with seriousness and sincerity in the making of history now, as women have in the past.'"

Simply put, if you're teaching your students about space, no matter the grade level, you need this book for your classroom library.

This activity is easy but is going to be one of the most popular on your classroom. Get a refrigerator box and stand it up in your classroom. Cut out a door and a few portals and have students glue assorted knobs and switches to the inside. Add a chair or two and they'll be ready to blast off in their new space ship.


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Kid Lit Kit are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.