Space Snoopy

New releases

Folks are bopping around article links to a statement that “Snoopy”, the module from Apollo X that was discarded into space, may have been located by investigators who were looking for it (which makes them, I suppose, both searchers and researchers, much like some folks are simultaneously tired and retired.) What I’m finding amusing is that this news actually went around in April, But it is very cool. There were those who thought that Snoopy had been destroyed, and others who surmised that we could never find him. It’s still not definite that we have found him, mind you, but I like to think of Snoopy as going on out there long after I’m gone.

But it does give me a good segue to talk about a couple of new books that I got last week, both children’s storybooks produced in cooperation with NASA. In Shoot for the Moon, Snoopy! (by Jason Cooper and Vicki Scott), Peppermint Patty and Marcie try to get Snoopy into physical condition for the new space mission that’s launching tomorrow. My favorite part of this book is actually the poster that is bound into the back, because it’s a two-sided poster. One side is just an image of the book’s cover, for people who want mere decoration. The other side, however, has an image and a bunch of moon facts, making it kinda cool for the more science-nerdy kids.

(One quick side note about this tale: in it, Marcy is repeatedly referring to a book called¬†Destination Moon. While there have been several books of that name – and another one that is being released tomorrow! – it doesn’t look like she’s reading the Tintin graphic novel of that title. No, by the cover this appears to be astronaut James Irwin’s Destination: Moon, the 2004 edition where they added the subtitle “The Spiritual and Scientific Voyage of the Eighth Man to Walk on the Moon.” As that name suggests, it’s a very religion-heavy work, which I find a little surprising coming from Marcie, frankly.)

The other book is the Ready-to-Read level 2 book, Snoopy, First Beagle on the Moon! (by Ximena Hastings and Robert Pope), and this one is a little more to my taste… in large part because I never feel quite comfortable with the kids are knowingly participating in Snoopy’s fantasies. Yes, Schulz did it himself at times, but it messes both with the idea of reality (admittedly, a malleable idea in Peanuts) and with the idea that Snoopy is simply lost in the grandeur of his internal story. But Woodstock and Spike helping Snoopy with his trip to the moon? That I’m a bit more comfortable with. This one doesn’t have a poster, but it does have pages of Moon Facts, a look at what the parts of a spacesuit do, and a history of Peanuts involvement in NASA.

So if you want the story, get the second book. If you want the poster, get the first book.¬†But do not under any circumstance get both books! Why, you ask? Because it will push you to the limits of your sanity, and perhaps beyond. If you read the poster that came with the first book, you will learn that the time the moon “takes to orbit Earth: about 27 days”. But according to the moon facts in the second book, “the moon orbits, or circles around, the Earth about every twenty-eight days.” Which is it? Are they talking about two different moons?? Does not compute…. does not compute….

(Foolish Consistency is the lead singer of Simple Minds, I know.)

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