One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong
One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong
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Annotation: Discusses the life and accomplishments of astronaut Neil Armstrong, from his childhood in Ohio to his famous moon landing.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #4690999
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition Date: 1998
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-618-15239-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-618-15239-1
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 97042152
Dimensions: 21 x 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This picture-book biography begins with two-year-old Neil Armstrong watching an airplane race. In fact, more than half the book shows Armstrong as a boy: riding in a passenger plane, dreaming of flight, making paper airplanes, working to earn money, playing in the school band, and observing the stars with his neighbor's homemade telescope. The second part of the book focuses on Armstrong's flight to the moon. Using ink and watercolor, Brown paints a beguiling picture of Armstrong, particularly in his youth. The book underscores that the man who was the first to walk on the moon was once a little boy who worked and played and dreamed. Even in a picture book, it would be good to know whether everything it tells about the young Armstrong is true, but no sources are cited. Still, a visually appealing book about a modern hero. (Reviewed August 1998)
Horn Book
Brown reviews Armstrong's early daydreams about flying, which he realized first as a small-plane pilot, then as a fighter pilot, and finally as an astronaut and the first man to walk on the moon. Unassuming watercolor illustrations are highlighted by strategically placed black pen-and-ink lines, and the readable text reveals the author's respect for his subject.
Kirkus Reviews
From Brown (Alice Ramsay's Grand Adventure, 1997, etc.), a pithy look at one of the national heroes of the space age. Recurring vivid dreams of floating high above his neighborhood sparked Neil Armstrong's fascination with flight and led ultimately to a life spent among the clouds and stars. The first half of this brief biography showcases Armstrong's childhood, his hobbies, part-time jobs, and determination to earn a pilot's license. The second part highlights his historic flight to the moon and the thrill of being the first human being to set foot on its surface. Brown's text is simple enough for very young children to enjoy, while the accompanying illustrations skillfully use perspective to capture the world through a child's eyes. The story has been told many times, but perhaps never with so much heart and spirit. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
Fans of Alice Ramsey's Grand Adventure may wish that Brown had likewise dedicated this picture book to the singular ride that made history for his subject. Instead, the author's informal chronicle of astronaut Armstrong's life focuses primarily on his childhood, then skips ahead to his milestone flight in the final spreads. The book opens in 1932, when two-year-old Neil, perched on his father's shoulders, watches airplanes race. Readers next see him four years later, riding in a plane for the first time, an experience that inspires a """"magical dream"""" in which he """"held his breath and hovered above the ground."""" Young Neil makes model airplanes, reads Air Travel magazine, peers at the moon through a neighbor's telescope and eventually begins flying lessons. But Armstrong's training to become an astronaut and his career leading up to the 1969 flight to the moon get less emphasis. And the conclusion is a bit ethereal (after he stepped onto the moon, he """"became a hero to millions of people. But inside him was the memory of an ordinary boy.... A boy who loved books and music....A boy who dreamed of hanging in the air suspended only by a trapped breath."""" Similarly sketchy, Brown's airy, pen-and-ink and watercolor art does little to get this spotty biography off the ground. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this picture-book portrait, Brown reveals that Armstrong loved flying airplanes long before he ever considered going into space. At the age of six, he rode with his father in a passenger plane that had 12 wicker seats and a loud sputtering engine. This first ride hooked him on aeronautics and from that time on he collected airplane magazines, made airplane models, and at age 16 got his pilot's license. While other titles focus on the events leading up to Armstrong's historic lunar landing, this book lovingly depicts an industrious small-town boy who mowed lawns and swept floors in order to finance his flying lessons. Armstrong's moments in space are all the more incredible when juxtaposed against the excitement airplanes still aroused during his 1930's childhood. This book gives the essence of his accomplishments rather than the details. One page that summarizes Armstrong's career advances from student pilot to fighter pilot to test pilot to astronaut shows just how much the world can change in one person's lifetime. Brown's watercolor illustrations are as appealing as the boyish grin the astronaut displays in almost every picture. A lyrical introduction to an American hero.-Jackie Hechtkopf, Talent House School, Fairfax, VA
Word Count: 1,004
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 20689 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.1 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q19077
Lexile: AD670L
Guided Reading Level: M
Fountas & Pinnell: M

As a young boy, Neil Armstrong had a recurring dream in which he held his breath and floated high above the people, houses, and cars. He spent his free time reading stacks of flying magazines, building model airplanes, and staring through the homemade telescope mounted on the roof of his neighbor's garage. As a teenager, Neil became obsessed with the idea of flight, working odd jobs to pay for flying lessons at a nearby airport. He earned his student pilot's license on his sixteenth birthday. But who was to know that this shy boy, who also loved books and music, would become the first person to set foot on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Here is the inspiring story of one boy's dream - a dream of flying that landed him more than 200,000 miles away in space, gazing upon the awesome sight of a tiny earth hanging suspended in a perfectly black sky. On the thirtieth anniversary of the moon landing, Don Brown's expressive story reveals the achievement of this American legend, Neil Armstrong, re

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