It was the summer before I started college.  It was very late at night, and my parents gave up and went to bed after the initial Moon landing, but I wanted to see the entire thing!! It was dark and quiet in our house when Commander Neil Armstrong announced, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he stepped off the lander’s footpad onto the lunar surface.

I remember our elementary teachers bringing in the TV so we could watch every mission from the 1st Mercury mission, the many Gemini launches, until this moment when Apollo 11 successfully landed man on the moon!! What an incredible accomplishment! The spin-off technology alone affects everyone to this day (LED’s, ear thermometers, firefighter gear, and Tang, just to name a few)!

That’s why I was so enthralled with THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON! Rhonda Gowler Green provides children with a great introduction to the history of the space program and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  (Gee, I feel old!) I love the way Rhonda acquaints her audience with each aspect of the Apollo 11 mission, and ties them together at the end.  The factual bullets further explain some of the terms used, and more about the mission, adding appeal for older readers.  I’m sure my grandchildren will love this one!

Scott Brundage really captured the images I remember from the Apollo 11 mission, but much better, as they are in beautiful color!  His drawings bring this momentous event to life.  I know this book is advertised for children age 6—9, but I think younger children would certainly be enthralled with the illustrations, as would older children through adult!

If you wish to celebrate the Moon Landing, and inspire another generation of space travelers, this book will be available from Sleeping Bear Press , Amazon (You can pre-order.), and Barnes & Noble (You can pre-order here, too).


Greene, Rhonda Gowler, and Scott Brundage. The First Men Who Went to the Moon. Sleeping Bear Press, 2019.

ISBN-10: 1585364126     ISBN-13: 978-1585364121


K-ESS2-2 Earth’s Systems

Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering Design

Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

K-PS2-2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.

3-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

5-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

3-5-ETS1-1 Engineering Design

Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.