cover image Rocket Countdown

Rocket Countdown

Nick Sharratt. Candlewick Press (MA), $12.95 (12pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-622-4

Space travel becomes as accessible and simple as a trip to the corner grocery store in this lift-the-flap, pull-the-tab counting book. Counting backward from 10, each number is teamed with a needed preparation: ``ten! get on board; nine! close the door.'' But this fantasy of soaring into the starry black is grounded by touches that, while familar, also lend a tongue-in-cheek humor. Lift the flap for ``eight! check the supplies,'' and rolls of toilet paper and canned goods are found; ``five! set the controls'' shows a dial with a hand which youngsters can move to either ``ready, get set'' or ``go.'' The nearly fluorescent colors and boxy lines are bold and kid-friendly, for a look that is sure to grab the attention of would-be space explorers. The paper engineering doesn't break new ground, but it accents the book perfectly. The last page is a pop-up showing a rocket in air, with a smiling astronaut peering from inside, for a blast-off of an ending. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)