Following up on his spectacular picture book, Lindbergh (see review here), author/artist Torben Kuhlmann tells a tale of a little mouse named Armstrong who defies the humans who are after him and travels to the moon and back, years before mankind makes it there.
This is the sort of picture book that works on every single level.
First and foremost … it is gorgeous. Kuhlmann’s art is spectacular. It is rich and warm and extremely realistic without losing the sense that it is painted art and not photographs. Each page is absolutely delectable.
It is cute and whimsical … it’s a mouse for crying-out-loud. Mice are cute, furry rodents. They don’t seem threatening at all. Unlike a lot of mice in children’s literature, these mice look like real mice and not cartoon characters yet they possess an articulate quality – a sense of curiosity and wonder and individual-ness in the eyes.
It is historical … Kuhlmann is so very cleverly relating history (in this case about the race to the moon) while covering it with the cute and whimsical story so that the young reader doesn’t quite realize that they are actually learning something, too.
It is a transitional book … this is the sort of book that a parent can read to their child, showing the beautiful artwork, but it’s also the sort of book that can challenge the aggressive young reader. It is not quite the simple picture book, but it is not quite the difficult chapter book. It is something nicely in between.
This book should encourage or develop a child’s interest in space and/or history, but even if it doesn’t, it will be a book that a child will want read to them repeatedly, and fortunately, it’s a book that parents won’t mind reading and re-reading. I don’t have children age-appropriate anymore, but I still want this book on my bookshelf!
Looking for a good book? Look no further, Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann is a great picture book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon
author: Torben Kuhlmann
artist: Torben Kuhlmann
publisher: NorthSouth (NY)
hardcover, 112 pages