Tag Archives: Clive Gifford

The Race to Space

There is more than one book about Apollo and space out, now that it’s been fifty years since Apollo 11. Clive Gifford’s The Race to Space, with illustrations by Paul Daviz, is perhaps a little more serious than When We Walked on the Moon. It starts much earlier and covers most of what went on in space for several decades.

Clive Gifford and Paul Daviz, The Race to Space

I have to admit I’m still upset about poor Laika, whose sad demise we weren’t told about back in the day.

As the title suggests this covers the race to get into space first, and then to get to the moon before ‘the others.’ It’s not a long book, so each chapter is brief, but you do get a very good picture of the space adventure we enjoyed in the middle of the last century.

It has more serious facts than the other book, so might require someone older, or at least, someone really keen on space, to read. But that’s fine. We are all at different stages in our fascination for space.

I reckon I would have liked this book even more, back when I was 13. But I like anything about space, and there will be many more like me today, who will really want to read this. And some will move on to do much more still.

Ground Control to Major Tim

Not every country has an astronaut, so it was pretty exciting when we had Tim Peake up there in space. It almost feels like an age since he worked on the International Space Station, but it was only a year or so ago.

Clive Gifford, Ground Control to Major Tim

Here is a picture reference book written by Clive Gifford for fairly young readers, showing what it was like for Major Tim. We ‘all’ knew about his tweeting and performing to the crowds when he was up there, but not everyone knows what else he did.

Or, for that matter, what Tim had to do to get to the kind of situation where he was a contender to go into space in the first place. What work do you do, and how does one train for life in space?

You learn Russian, as you will be working with people from Russia. You have Heston Blumenthal prepare key lime pie for you. You exercise. The photos all look jolly, but I’d take a wild guess and say that it was all hard work. And not entirely without its risks.

This is the kind of book I know little boys will be pointed towards. I’d like to feel that lots of girls will also read about Major Tim. I know I would have loved it as a child. Please do something to interest all children in space!