Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.
Journey back to 1969 and the lunar landing seen through the eyes of Mae, a young girl who has lots of dreams of her own. Aston’s poetry pairs flawlessly with Pinkney’s illustrations as we see a group of children celebrate the landing in their own way. They build a rocket of their very own with scraps from the yard and gather together with rapt faces watching the landing as it happens. All are caught in the moment of history except Gramps who isn’t sure it has anything much to do with him. But even he is captured when the landing itself is on TV, and he begins to recall his own dreams as a boy.
Both author and illustrator capture the same tone, something not easily done. They both linger on images that unite us all. Youth and age, hard work and dream, family both small and large. Through Aston’s gem-like poetry we can experience the wonder of the day. Through Pinkney’s illustrations we can see and also feel the heat, the closeness, the amazing moment.
An amazing achievement in cooperation, just like the lunar landing, this book truly brings the landing itself and its importance to modern children. Appropriate for ages 4-7, it will be most appreciated by older children who can understand the beauty of the book.