Field Trip to the Moon
by Hare, John

A whimsically illustrated, wordless debut picture book depicts a class of students on a field trip to the moon who debark from their yellow spaceship bus and explore the moon's trenches, craters and mountains while observing the faraway Earth and befriending visitors from space.

John Hare is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, and space nerd. Field Trip to the Moon is his first picture book for children. He lives in Gladstone, Missouri, with his wife and two children.

In this wordless picture book, schoolchildren are transported to the moon on a space shuttle resembling a bus, and one space-suited child discovers that, although the moon has been explored, there is always something new to discover. While the other kids stick to the field trip itinerary, this child finds a quiet spot to sit with some crayons and draw the Earth-and is thus accidentally left behind. As the bus disappears into space, the child resumes coloring, which draws out a group of gray rock-like moon people who humorously interact with the crayons, doodling on themselves as well as a nearby boulder. The fun ends when the bus returns and the moon people hide, each still holding a crayon. Homeward bound, the child (whose gender is undefined) uses the only remaining crayon-a gray one-to draw a picture of the moon people. A perfectly paced paean to imagination, Hare's auspicious debut presents a world where a yellow crayon box shines like a beacon. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn't as lifeless as it looks. While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare's wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous. A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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