Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This is Cape Canaveral (1963) (part 2)

Happy Moon day everyone!.Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC (47 years ago today).

 I will continue my sharing of this beautiful book about the space race and one of the places it took place:This is Cape Canaveral (1963) 

 Since this was 1963 all the author could do was hope that the story would continue to unfold.

 In 2009 the Sasek publisher created a reprint of this classic book. To make it feel as if the story was completed they included the following appendix about the landing on the Moon:

Friday, July 15, 2016

This is Cape Canaveral (1963) (part 1)

This is another one of those great books about spaceflight that I can't get enough of.  I am aware of the approaching 47th anniversary of people landing on the Moon. this books is one of the best at bringing back that moment of hope as America tried for the Moon" before the decade was out." Because I want to share a lot of this book it will be a 2 part posting, with the second part on July 20th.


Sasek, Miroslav. Illustrated by Sasek, Miroslav. This is Cape Canaveral. New York: The Macmillan Co. (60 p.) 32 cm. Cloth, DJ.

 Text and illustrations show a "tourist's scrapbook" of a visit to Cape Canaveral.  There are illustrations and discussion of launch equipment, the local space museum and the launch of the Atlas rockets of the Mercury program.   See 1964 reprint/retitling: “This is Cape Kennedy.”

It is this children's scrapbook quality that is really attractive, it gives the sense of being there and seeing all this for the first time. I was only 4 years old when this book was published but upon finding it in the school library appreciated how much detail was in it.

Because the "Space Race" was more than the rockets, it was this sense of national excitement at we saw each test succeed and each astronaut reach new heights and records. To a child getting to go where it was happening was an amazing treat.

 I like how much of the "space culture" was captured. I too remember a time when everything was about space.

We will leave it here as we focus on the Saturn rocket,the Mercury program and the potential of going to the Moon.  See you on the 20th!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Operation Watchdog (1956)

The "Colby" books used typical publicity photographs to accompany text about various activities in the U.S. (I am guessing with an eye toward mechanically inclined boys). This one focused primarily on U.S. Continental Air Defense but as you can see from the back cover the series covered many other topics.

Colby, C B. Operation Watchdog: Rockets, Guided Missiles, Aircraft, and radar of our defenses. New York : Coward-McCann. (48 p.) 28 cm.

I find it interesting as an artifact of the center of the Cold war. this introduction from Mr. Colby is very specific about the threats of the "other side."

 This last item "Frightening Forerunner" is the only one that alludes to the future of intercontinental nuclear exchanges.

Friday, July 1, 2016

You Will Go to the Moon (1959) (Part 2)

Continuing with my 500th ULTRAMEGA Posting to celebrate my favorite children's book.

When we last left our hero he was on his way to the Moon!

The illustration above of watching a baseball game from space haunted my dreams. To have space travel so ordinary that we could just "hang out" and eat snacks while we went to the Moon.

This is what is known as a "text dump". The author had so much they needed/wanted to say that this is the wordiest page in the book.

Bounding across the surface of the Moon, colorful and cool "Moon cars", and mountain climbing with one hand. The Moon never seemed so fun.  Which lead to my favorite page in the book, the view from the top looking down at the moon base. I must have returned to this pages hundreds of times.

And a final look ahead to when we will go to Mars. The vision of a frontier that waits for us and the hope that someone will be inspired to go further yet.

The authors added a 2 page glossary of terms at the back to give parents and educators a little help with the questions a child might ask. The book has only 186 words and they tried to limit to words a child might already know. This gave them a chance to add a few technical terms.

1971 reprint edition (updated for Apollo)

1972 British reprint edition

The reprint illustrations were a shadow of the originals with a paler color scheme.