Friday, 19 July 2019

ReadItDaddy's Second Space-tastic Book of the Week - Week Ending 19th July 2019: "Where Once We Stood" by Christopher Riley and Martin Impey (Harbour Moon Publishing)

Our second Space-tastic book of the week themed around the moon landings 50 years ago is more than just a selection of facts presented in a fairly cold and sterile manner.

"Where Once We Stood" by Christopher Riley and Martin Impey instantly feels more personal and more human, more or less as soon as you delve into the book.

It tells the story of the 12 brave men who boarded rockets, blasting off to land on the moon. Each mission tinged with uncertainty, danger and risk - but each mission now etched into human history as a set of truly remarkable achievements.

The book begins by showing the landing locations for the missions (including, of course, the epoch-making Apollo 11 mission - celebrating its 50th Anniversary tomorrow), but then becomes more storified as we begin to hear the details of each mission from the communications chatter and anecdotal information provided by the astronauts themselves, brilliantly brought together with Christopher's writing, and Martin's truly stunning illustrations.

Here then, we don't just get a sense of the technical achiements, and the colossal scale of the operation put in place to bring our Astronauts safely home, but we get a sense that for those 12 men, this was something far different to the norm, far more exciting, challenging and life changing than anything else they'd ever encounter in their lives.

Space fascinates us still, and with renewed talk of returning to the moon - this time perhaps as a stepping stone to reaching out further into space, these really are amazingly detailed accounts of each mission, and the book is just so gorgeously presented that it instantly feels like it'd make a fantastic family heirloom to pass down to generations, making sure they all know what it took to put those men on the moon.

Sum this book up in a sentence: A fascinating deep dive into the human stories around each of the amazing moon missions, starting of course with Apollo 11 and our first tentative steps on another world.

"Where Once We Stood" by Christopher Riley and Martin Impey is out now, published by Harbour Moon Publishing (kindly supplied for review).