Written by Dean Robbins; Illustrated by Sean Rubin
Orchard Books. An Imprint of Scholastic. 2019
Grades 5 and up
Dean Robbins tells the life of Alan Bean (1932-2018), a pilot, astronaut, and an artist. As a child, Bean loved to think about the way things looked. He made model airplanes that he hung around in his bedroom.
“Green for the wings.
Red Stripes for the tail.
Yellow stars along the sides.”
This picture book biography shares how Bean’s love of flying had him training to be a navy pilot and then joining NASA in 1963. Bean traveled to the moon with the Apollo 12 mission in 1969 and became the fourth person to walk on the moon. When did he take his first art classe? While he was training to be a pilot in 1961. Beans says how he loved being able to show on paper what he saw with his eyes.
Back matter includes an author’s note with more information on Alan Bean, a timeline of space exploration, and a bibliography. There is a page in the back matter that places photographs taken during his Apollo 12 mission with the paintings Alan did based on the photo. Captioned under each of the paintings Bean shares his experience of that amazing trip.
It’s a treat to see a book for children that acknowledges how influential art can be, even for someone who loves science.