I think as children most of us dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day. I know my daughter Amy is fascinated with checking out the moon and stars at night, and often happily spots the moon during the day too, informing me of when it’s a crescent and just generally astounding me with all that she knows already.
Chris also has dreams of becoming an astronaut, but the problem is that he is afraid of the dark and also of aliens who may have snuck into his room from his pretend adventures as an astronaut. Motivated by wanting to see real astronauts walk on the moon, he finally sleeps in his own bed. Seeing the astronauts from the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV he sees just how dark Outer Space is, and realises that there is beauty in the darkness and that you’re not alone when your dreams are always with you.
This story of The Darkest Dark is inspired by the childhood of astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, and it’s a great way to encourage children to overcome their fears and follow their dreams. It includes details and photos of Chris’s life as well as a message from Chris, who wrote the book. This special hardback edition of the Darkest Dark includes an audio CD of the story, read aloud by Chris. The CD also features bonus commentary and The Darkest Dark song written and recorded by Chris too. If you haven’t heard Chris sing before go check out his rendition of Ground control to Major Tom, which was recorded while he was on board the International Space Station.
For children who are fascinated by space and the moon it’s a fun story that they will enjoy. I found the CD to be very interesting, and I learnt a lot from the commentary portion too. The Darkest Dark is available from bookstores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R159.
Thanks to Pan Macmillan for letting us adventure into space together with Chris.