We have kids who love all stories, the more fanciful, the better. But the rest will only read non-fiction. So I was delighted to get this book for them. It’s written at a young-adult level, which is to say, it really is a book for all ages. The phrasing is direct and accessible, and propels you forward through the book. It is a story of bold engineering and courageous flying, where it really is “rocket science,” yet described in ways anyone can relate with.
I was moved by the expected and unexpected awe of the entire journey. The gripping story answers questions I’ve had for years — not just specific details, but the feelings and emotions felt on one of f mankind’s greatest achievements in exploration. It’s a great book for non-fiction lovers of all ages. In my own family, to my surprise, all my children are really loving it. I guess there is no greater adventure than flying to the moon!
I remember studying Sociology, which explained a phenomenon I’d noticed throughout my life, where the people with the highest morals in a given group set the moral range of everyone else’s behaviors, from the high to the low. If the most moral person was suddenly found to be notably flawed, then everyone else sank to lower levels, too. The upside is that it works the other way, too. It’s something that I’ve found difficult to explain to my children — all our behaviors effect others, including raising (or lowering) their ethics, and thus, the kindness, patience, and helpfulness shown to others (including what they offer to us, in turn). So I appreciate how this relatively simple and humorous picture book allows me to discuss this with my children.
The main character can’t scratch his own back without help (the problem of having four legs is apparently an itchy back). He eventually finds someone to help, but then immediately disregards them(in humorous fashion). I suppose the book, which offers funny text and cute illustrations, could be understood in a variety of ways, including just as a funny story. But for me, and my family, it helps explain why the little elephant can’t find anyone to help him out in the first place, since he isn’t very helpful, either. And I love that I can use this story to help encourage my children to help create a kinder, more helpful life, by being kinder and more helpful, themselves.
The darling illustrations really make this one of my favorite picture books in years. There are lots of children stories, books, and films, that show people getting along, or just not. . Less common is a book that not only shows both sides of a relationship, but illustrates how to bridge the gap when external disappointments cause a break within an otherwise loving relationship.
Here, some special plans for a picnic go awry, yet the child and pet owl find a way to work things out, and together, they have another go at a “picnic” in the living room, later that evening. It’s a sweet tale with very charming painted illustrations throughout. Great printing and binding as one might expect from Putnam. A great book for children (and adults) learning how to get along better with more patience and kindness.