Touch the Moon by Phil Cummings and Coral Tulloch

On the 21st July, 2019 the world will be celebrating the first steps humankind took on the moon.

Touch the Moon is told by Phil Cummings from his perspective as a young boy, watching the moon landing in his small town north of Adelaide.

Watching Neil Armstrong walking on the moon was an amazing event in his young life but another pretty amazing event occurred right outside his door on the same day – snow!

As the snow fell the boy and many of his friends were torn between watching TV or playing in the snow before it melted – a tough choice for a young child! The reader feels the magic of the falling snow and the excitement of the boy who just wants to go out and play.

But – they will also feel the importance of waiting for the first steps on the moon and wonder what they would have done.

Touch the Moon not only opens young readers eyes up to the enormity of this event but also what life was like before many modern technologies.

Children can explore, through Coral Tulloch’s detailed illustrations, toys and books from 50 years ago, fashion and household items and of course how children spent their time. The discussion about the TV was a highlight in the classrooms I read this book  out loud in – so many comparisons and stories to be shared!

Phil Cummings is a master storyteller and the figurative language he weaves into this story bring it to life as we imagine a child spinning like a helicopter gazing out over his own alien world.

Touch the Moon is a book not just for this years anniversary but a book to remind us how important memories are and that when we share our memories, others may open theirs up too.

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So what else can be done with this book?

  • Use the different figurative language in the book and create your own such as: ‘ Snowflakes kissed my cheek’, ‘Spun like a helicopter’, ‘snowballs flew like frozen asteroids’.
  • Draw comparisons to your own life and that of a child 50 years ago.
  • Explore changes in technology for better and for worse.
  • What other iconic events happened 50 years ago or more?
  • Explore the changes in space travel in the last 50 years.


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