Saturday, February 28, 2015

The rooftop rocket party by Roland Chambers

With such a large library collection as the one we have in our school it is interesting how some books bubble through and get my attention.  Last week our art teacher was looking for illustrations of day and night and the moon to inspire our youngest students.

As I did a search of our computer database under the heading night and day I came across The rooftop Rocket party.  I could not remember what this book was about but I knew it had made me smile when I read it years ago.  It did not contain any useful images for our art teacher but I bought it home to read.  Once again I have to give a warning that this joyful book is most probably out of print since it was first published in 2002.

This is a book that celebrates the importance of imagination. Pragmatism and scientific thought are important but perhaps real creativity comes from imagining the impossible.

Finn visit New York city.  Finn is curious about rockets and so he meets with Doctor Gass, a famous Rocket Scientist.  (Note the use of capital letters!).  The doctor will not share the secret of his rockets with Finn.  The doctor explains at length all known facts about the moon.  Finn goes to bed disappointed but that night he dreams about the Night Thing whose master is the Man in the Moon and he is holding a birthday party.  When Finn shares his dream, Doctor Gass is dismissive declaring it was 'just a dream'.

Finn notices there are rockets on all the rooftops in New York.  They are big and red and look ready for lift off.  Sadly once again Doctor Gass goes into a long explanation about the workings of water towers.

Luckily that night at "five minutes to twelve" the Night Thing comes again and he whisks Finn off in a red rocket to the Man in the Moon's birthday party.  Everyone has a splendid time and the food is delicious.    Next morning Doctor Gass can get no water from his taps and when he goes outside he finds a red rocket and a half eaten meringue on the sidewalk.

You might also enjoy Daydream Dan, Herman and Rosie which also has a NYC setting Humphrey's bear and Ned and the Joybaloo.

Here is a review which you might like to read.

This book is perfect for everyone who holds fast to the belief that the moon is made from cheese and that one day it will be possible to meet the Man in the Moon.

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