Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers

Booklist starred (March 15, 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 14))

Preschool-Grade 3. In this unusual picture book, a boy shares his inventive plan for reaching the moon, planting sunflower seeds, and returning to a hero’s welcome back on Earth. What with “homework, soccer, violin, and all the other stuff” on his schedule, he has never made the trip. Still, he happily passes along the practical details of his plan. Preparations include collecting and connecting all your neighbors’ old garden hoses into one 238,900-mile length, building an enormous slingshot that will shoot one end of the hose to the moon (don’t forget the anchor), learning to bicycle along the taut hose, and requesting a small spacesuit from NASA, among other important details. Brightly illustrated in cartoon-style panels as well as the occasional double-page spread, the imaginative, first-person text will be riveting for process-minded kids. Because, really, who doesn’t want to make a giant slingshot using 2,000 interwoven inner tubes and a couple of birch trees on top of a hill, not to mention travel in space? Can’t quite visualize it? Not to worry. Fresh and often-amusing ink drawings, brightened with color washes, illustrate every moment of the adventure. Gerstein, a Caldecott-winning illustrator, offers a uniquely entertaining picture book that glows with the satisfaction of a boy who knows he could travel to the moon.

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