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Sunday, November 28, 2021

By The Book: Moon Dust

Looking for the moon, the first man on it and some more.

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | New Delhi |
Updated: July 7, 2019 6:00:42 am
Chandrayaan II, Satish Dhawan Space center, Buzz Aldrin, Uchli, Shreya Yadav, Sunaina Coelho, Charlesbridge, Puffin Books, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, indian express, indian express news It’s no coincidence that July will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing — Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men on it on July 20, 1969 — so here’s looking at some books on it. 

As india’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan II, readies for takeoff in a week’s time from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, the moon — and those who have aspired to explore its many mysteries — is on everyone’s mind. It’s no coincidence that July will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing — Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men on it on July 20, 1969 — so here’s looking at some books on it:

Maisha loves the beach at night, especially because she gets to be with her aquatic friend, Uchli, a flying fish. But the night is dark and Uchli is worried. Their friend, the moon, is missing from the sky after she rose from the water. Together, Maisha and Uchli dive underwater — almost a mirror to the sky — to see if their marine friends have any clue about the moon’s whereabouts. The Night the Moon Went Missing (2019, Pratham Books, appropriate for 5+ years) by Shreya Yadav is less about the moon and more about the amazing marine life, full of creatures that can emit light. Why are we discussing it with books on the moon then? It’s because Yadav tells her story through interesting parallels between space and water and because Sunaina Coelho’s arresting illustrations highlight the wondrous world that exists below the surface just as it does in the canopy overhead.

Armstrong and Aldrin’s “one small step” would go on to ensure “one giant leap for mankind”in July 1969, which is why the story of a young Armstrong, his fascination for the moon and the years of hard work and rigorous training that led to his voyage makes for such compelling reading. One Giant Leap (2009, Puffin Books, appropriate for 6+ years), written by Robert Burleigh on the 40th anniversary of the moon mission, is that story. From earning his student pilot licence at 16 to the deep apprehension he feels as they approach the moon years later, this is a perfect moon landing into the life of the first man on the moon.

Apollo’s 11’s epoch-making eight-day moon mission is also captured by Linda McReynolds in her book Eight Days Gone (2012, Charlesbridge, appropriate for 5+ years). Through sprightly verse and retro art, readers are taken on a tour of Nasa’s pathbreaking mission, the spaceship and the gear used by the astronauts, not to mention the thrill of it all.

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