You Can't Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!

You Can't Ride a Bicycle to the Moon! illus. by Amanda Haley. 40p. diag. Blue Apple. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781609054199.
Gr 2–5—This book encourages readers to consider "all the possibilities of what we can do and be as humans." After an introductory chapter that gives scientific stats about the moon, each of the four chapters focuses on human involvement in space. Chapter 1 discusses the first animals and humans who traveled in space and to the moon. Chapter 2 talks about the "education, hard work, [and]imagination" required to build spacecraft. Chapter 3 highlights living conditions in space and quotes Sally Ride on her experiences in space. The final chapter looks toward the future and considers the possibility of "tourists in space." The information is comprehensive but lacks depth, possibly leaving some readers looking for more details. For example, the text mentions the 57 Soviet female dogs that went into space in the 1950s, but there aren't any details about their travels or if their missions were successful. The cartoonlike illustrations will appeal to kids, though, and there are funny poems in each chapter that relate to a topic at hand. Overall, this is a solid introduction to a space unit or supplemental material for instructional support.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL
This overview of space for young readers begins with the lunar basics and expands to include the history (and possible future) of space travel. Ziefert carries the playful tone through all four chapters, balancing factual information with poems and humorous turns of phrase. Haley's loose-lined watercolors add lightness and movement. A table of contents and discussion questions are included.

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