That first landing on the moon still resonates with me. I was a teen in 1969 and I still recall gathering around the TV set to watch the landing. This picture book features a young African American girl named Mae (perhaps a young Mae Jemison who was later to be in space, too?) watching with her family. The kids all construct rockets out of whatever they can find: baskets, boxes, scraps. However, the landing and walk are watched with great hushed devotion. Mae watches with her grandfather; the shared moment leads to his telling her more about his memories of planes and flight and wonder. Jerry Pinkney's watercolor illustrations are a perfect match for the dreamy, almost lyrical text of Dianna Aston (Dial, 2008).
Rachel Isadora's variant of RAPUNZEL (Putnam, 2008) is set in Africa. Collage illustrations tell of Rapunzel and her love for the prince. She must lower her dreads for the sorceress who has imprisoned her. When the sorceress learns of Rapunzel's betrayal, the prince is thrown from the tower and blinded. Rapunzel's tears cure him. While the retelling is quite familiar, the illustrations with their tones and textures help to set this story apart. Tie it with Zelinsky's classic retelling for an interesting comparison.