The first thing you notice here are the wonderful illustrations. Armstrong looks so soft and sweet I want to reach out and stroke his fur on every page. The sepia tones really invoke the 1960's to me, and the detail is just incredible.
Armstrong is a mouse with a dream, and a pretty lofty (pardon the pun) one at that: he wants to travel to the moon. The other mice scoff at his ideas - everyone knows that the moon is made of cheese, not rock! One other mouse gives him the encouragement he needs, however, and Armstrong begins a journey of trial and error, failures and success, danger and excitement. The basic science behind getting into space (and surviving while you are there) is explained in such a way that a child (or a science dunce like myself) can easily comprehend. It is a bit long for a picture book - more of a picture/chapter book hybrid - but the mother of one of my 6-year-old patrons reports that he has made his parents read it to him over and over. Their home is now full of home-made rocket ships, and he has requested an entire home schooling unit on the subject. What more could you ask for to determine the success of a book?!
***This book has been nominated for the Cybils Awards, and I am a first-round panelist in this category. There are many other panelists, and many MANY other great nominees, so a good or bad review here does not necessarily predict placement on the shortlist.