A clever little mouse in New York City spends hours gazing through a telescope at the moon, carefully noting his observations. Fellow mice ignore his conclusions―that the moon is made of stone―and cling to their own beliefs that the moon is made of cheese. Thus begins one mouse’s quest to prove his comrades wrong.
Early on in Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon, the little mouse is summoned to the bowels of the Smithsonian, where he’s encouraged by a wise old mouse, who readers may recognize as the hero of Torben Kulmann’s similarly inspired Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse.
His latest book is a visual and literary feast, the story of how a savvy rodent designs and builds his own tiny spacecraft, beating humans in the space race by more than a decade. With a large format and at 128 pages, it’s a creative cross between a picture and a chapter book, perfect for read-alouds.
Kuhlmann’s illustrations are exquisite, filled with sepia tones and bright splashes of color, impeccable technical detail, dramatic land- and moonscapes, and plenty of excitement―a raging fire, federal agents with snarling dogs on the verge of devouring the furry hero and, of course, a glorious moonwalk. There’s a wealth of humor, too―the mouse secretly taking notes atop the light fixture in a university classroom, a spacesuit test in a goldfish bowl and an alarm clock fashioned into a space capsule.
There’s also a “Top Secret” conclusion about what the first human astronauts found on the moon, as well as a concluding short history of space travel. Kuhlmann has created a tale so wonderfully imagined tale that it practically seems true.