Review: Armstrong

Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon - Torben Kuhlmann

* Review copy provided by Netgalley *

I knew there was a conspiracy about the moon landing.  I just knew it!

The story begins with a little mouse fascinated by views of the night sky, and the moon in particular, from his telescope.  He studiously made notes of his observations.

He excitedly informs the other mice, “The moon is a giant ball of stone!” and that, “The light from the sun is what makes the moon shine…”

The other mice are not impressed, however.  They are convinced the moon is made of cheese.  Of course they believe this myth, they’re mice, and mice love cheese.  They didn’t want to hear anything contrary to the wonderful idea of a whole moon of cheese.

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t go through more of the plot, but our little hero mouse does make it to the moon eventually.  After some trials, and a bit of a nail-biter about some humans that are close to discovering him.

Along the way he makes a visit to the Smithsonian, where he finds there is a mouse-sized room.  “It looked just like the human museum above.  But these were mouse-flying machines.”

Mouse-flying machines? Who knew? I certainly had no idea!

We also learn that this little mouse and his trip to the moon might have had an impact on humans getting to the moon.  But of course that would be a closely held secret.

The art in this book is absolutely gorgeous.  The story is one that would either need to be read by an adult, or for independent readers a bit past typical picture book level.

A few years ago I reread "The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet" with a tutoring student of mine.  I realized then it’s unfortunately a bit dated.  Written before the first moon landing, at a time people were still dreaming about it, I had to explain to my student a bit of what that was like.

“Armstrong” is a good bridge between young people today growing up after the missions to the moon, and the excitement of the first moon landing.

At the end there is information regarding several pioneers in science that influenced and contributed to space flight.

This book is absolutely perfect – wonderful artwork, an interesting, engaging and adventurous story, and factual information at the back regarding the human endeavor to reach the moon.

I received a free, expiring, copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.