Reviews for Field Trip to the Moon

by John Hare

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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.--Karen Cruze Copyright 2019 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Told through wordless spreads, a classroom of child astronauts takes a yellow school bus rocket to their destination. One student lags behind the others, sketch pad and crayons in tow, and finds a quiet moon rock to sit behind while drawing (and napping). In a gaspworthy moment, the young astronaut realizes that the ship has left. But the consummate artist continues drawing, attracting the attention of a small group of friendly aliens—whose skin tones perfectly match the dusky gray of the moon’s surface and who marvel at the crayons’ varied hues. Readers may have mixed feelings about the eventual rescue (the aliens seem like a lot of fun), but a final spread showing the child’s face for the first time (a shaggy-haired kid with just a single gray crayon left) makes the story all the more relatable. A clever and noteworthy tale of lunar adventure. Ages 4–8. (May)

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-Hare's picture book debut is a winner. His wordless tale in acrylic paint depicts a typical class field trip to the moon-the school bus ship, the trek across a gray lunar surface, the leap over a big chasm, a lecture on craters, and the one kid who lags behind. In this case the kid who lags behind is armed with crayons and a sketch pad. After wandering off to sketch the Earth and accidentally napping, the child awakens to discover the bus ship leaving! Despite some initial panic, the youngster settles in to draw and wait for its return, unknowingly attracting a crowd of gray aliens fascinated by the colored crayons. A hilarious fun fest of aliens drawing-on paper, on rock, on one another-ensues until the bus returns and they fade back into the moon dust. The happy reunion is marred only when the teacher notices the drawings on the rock that the child must remove before they leave. It is only on the final page that the face of the protagonist is revealed to be that of a dark-haired girl. Hare flawlessly and convincingly depicts the emotions of his characters - the desire to draw, the panic of being left behind, the joy of being remembered, and everything in between-all while they are wearing space suits with black, opaque face shields. His gray yet surprisingly detailed moonscape is both the setting and a character in its own right; his depiction of the aliens as gray humanoids amazed by color is genius. -VERDICT A beautifully done wordless story about a field trip to the moon with a sweet and funny alien encounter; what's not to like? A must-have for most libraries.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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 scenesas 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 crayongray, of courseleft 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 Reviews, used with permission.