Keeping The City Going (Brian Floca)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Keeping The City Going by Brian Floca, an earnest and touching ode to essential service workers during the COVID pandemic.

The city is not as it used to be, two children note as they stare out their windows at the strangely quiet and barren New York City streets. And yet, though the majority of the city is staying inside their homes, there are still a few people out and about. They’re delivering food, from restaurants or to grocery stores, and making sure the city stays fed. Utility workers are keeping the electricity, water, and internet running, so that people can stay safe and connected. First responders are taking care of emergencies, sanitation workers are keeping the city clean, postal workers and delivery drivers are bringing us all the things we need (and, yes, also the things we don’t need, but might make us feel better). Medical workers are working day and night to keep people healthy and heal the sick. And while the city is eerily quiet, there is one time of day when it is cacophonous: at seven o’clock, when the citizens of New York throw open their windows and yell, clap, sing, and shout their thanks to the people keeping the city going.

Beautiful. The pandemic was certainly a time unlike that which most of us had ever experienced in our lives (and hopefully won’t have to again), filled with the great deal of uncertainty and loss. However, as with most trying times, everyday heroes emerged, and this heartfelt celebration of essential workers – and the way several major cities came together to show their appreciation for them daily – is a wonderful reminder of this. It also provides an interesting time capsule of such a unique yet universal experience, expressed in bits of comedy, bits of pathos, and a deeply humanitarian tone. By the end, I found myself a little misty-eyed, and it was nice to remember all the good people tried to do during a very bad time. The length is best for elementary-aged bookworms and older, and JJ enjoyed it, especially identifying workers by their vehicles and uniforms. A lovely reminder of what connects us in times of trouble, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Moonshot: The Flight Of Apollo 11 (Brian Floca)

Hello, everybody! Today’s book is Moonshot: The Flight Of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca, a beautiful and informative account of the mission that put the first man on the moon.

It is a quiet, peaceful day in the warm sun of Florida, but three men are preparing to make history: they will be the first men to walk on the moon. The book walks you through their preparations, their challenges, and the exciting moment that the whole country was waiting for. Our cold and distant moon without life becomes the home for two brave explorers for a brief moment in time, but one that changed the course of human history forever.

I love historical children’s books, and this one is a real gem. The text is surprisingly lyrical for being so info-based, told in a sort of stream-of-consciousness style that flows well and makes it feel much more like a story than a simple recitation of facts. The illustrations are gorgeous: detailed, lifelike, and incredibly accurate. The length was far too long for baby bookworms (JJ was definitely wriggling and getting distracted long before we reached the ending), but older children with a fascination for space exploration, or children who simply love a good adventure story, will love this one. Definitely Baby Bookworm approved!