Sunday, May 23, 2021

Review: Milo's Moonlight Mission by Kathleen M. Blasi


by Kathleen M. Blasi
Illustrated by Petronela Dostalova
Yeehoo Press
Picture Book
36 pages
ages 4 to 8


The most spectacular night skies are revealed when we plan for the ideal moment—with loved ones by our sides. This heartwarming tale is perfect for space fans and young budding astronauts!

Outer space is out there for exploring, and Captain Milo is ready for takeoff! If only he didn’t have to wait for his Second-in-Command—or as he also calls her, Mom—to report for duty. Yet Mom’s list of daily tasks grows ever longer, and she can’t launch until they’re done. So, like any good captain, Milo offers to help!

Work? Check.

Dinner? Check.

Cleanup? Check.

When the weather forecast predicts a middle-of-the-night meteor storm, Captain Milo wants desperately to witness it. But will his Second-in-Command have enough time to accomplish this magical mission with him?

In lyrical prose and charming illustrations, Kathleen M. Blasi and Petronela Dostalova capture how the most spectacular night skies are revealed when we plan for the perfect moment—with loved ones by our sides. This heartwarming tale is perfect for space fans and young budding astronauts!

What to Expect:

Emotionally Resonant: A heartwarming tale of a parent and a child struggling to find quality time together – a challenge with which many parents and children can identify.

Adorable Space Setting: With a playful, expressive setting, this book is perfect for space fans and young budding astronauts.

Vivid, Atmospheric Storytelling: Children will love how much this midnight adventure feels like a real mission complete with a spaceship—and will wish that they could journey to the world beyond.

A Clever Combination of Fiction and Non-Fiction: Interwoven in the fiction text are unique facts about meteor showers. Educational back matter offers opportunities for discussions about cosmic phenomena.



                                          * lovely illustrations
                                          * balance between imagination and reality
                                          * parent/child relations
                                          * working together
                                          * some meteor shower facts at end


Playful imagination juts in between the more mundane chores of daily life to demonstrate the importance of patience and working together in parent/child relationships.

Capitan Milo is ready for another adventure in space, but his Second-in-Command can't make it. Mom has some important work to get done, and Milo's just going to have to wait. Knowing how working together can make things go faster, Milo does his best to help out but ends up having to simply show patience and wait. When Milo hears that a meteor shower is coming the next morning, his excitement soon dims as she announces she has an important meeting. Now, Milo wonders who that important person could possibly be.

I was surprised at how much is incorporated into this short book...and that with interesting finesse. First, there's the amazing and grabbing imagination of Milo as he prepares for his space adventures. The scene is perfectly set and immediately draws into this space realm, not only through the short, yet fun text but also through the amazing illustrations. It's hard not to want to launch off right with him. And that's when the emergency brake is pulled, shifting hard into reality where Milo (and the listener) learns that reality comes first. The shift even left me disappointed...which means it works.

Milo's mom is busy, but instead of having a fit or pouting, he tries his best to help. But he can't completely, and that means waiting. The wait is something listeners will easily identify with. I appreciate how the author never let Milo lose his temper, and I'm not sure there are many kids out there who could handle waiting as well as he does. His golden attitude is inspiring, and the ending rounds it off nicely even for the listeners as everything finishes on a warm and positive note.

I found the text well-balanced...not too much and not too little...but it's the space illustrations which really shine. The message in these pages is very clear and also nicely done. For some reason, the pacing hit me a little off between the reality and imagination (not sure why, though), and at the very end, there's an author note with information about meteor showers, which while informative and opening up to discussions about meteors (if desired), seemed a bit tossed in. But all in all, this is a nicely done read, and the space parts alone capture the attention and invite to dream.

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