Moonshot! Stanley the Sock Monster Goes to the Moon by Jedda Robaard
EVERY NIGHT DAD WOULD READ STANLEY HIS FAVORITE BOOK
STANLEY REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO GO TO THE MOON.
Since Stanley's favorite bedtime story is titled To the Moon and Back, it's not too surprising that he harbors a dream to make his own moon landing. But Stanley, an amorphous character who resembles a a pillow in a peppermint-striped onesie, has a slim grasp upon what exactly is the right stuff to get to the moon, despite all his notes, books, and sketches. His first try, standing in a moon boot and waiting for it to kick into action, is definitely not a kickstarter.
Then Stanley decides to catch a shooting star in his little butterfly net and hope its next stop is the moon. But like the traditional recipe for rabbit stew (first catch the rabbit), first catching the star turns out to be a non-starter. The moon and stars are not as close as they look.
Dad advises him to look at the challenge from a new point of view. Stanley stands on his head to reconsider the problem.
Finally, Stanley thinks about his favorite book and the picture of the rocket on the cover. Stanley's grasp of spacecraft design is limited, but his fuzzy, knitted spaceship has some powers not evident from its appearance. Wonder of wonders, the countdown is followed by a liftoff.
IT WAS JUST AS WONDERFUL AS STANLEY HAD IMAGINED.
A slight, sweet, wish-fulfillment fantasy, Jedda Robaard's new American edition of Stanley the Sock Monster Goes to the Moon (Little Bee Books, 2015), succeeds primarily on the strength of Robaard's beguiling ink and watercolor illustrations, done in a muted pastel palette with great charm and deft page design. Stanley is not the least bit monstrous, but tots will accept the "anything is possible if you try" theme in the spirit in which it is offered, as a pleasant little eye-pleasing adventure that ends with Stanley presenting everyone back on terra firma with a souvenir star from his successful moon voyage.