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The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  248 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Journey to the moon on the Apollo 12 mission with Alan Bean, the fourth astronaut to walk on the lunar surface and the only artist to paint its beauty firsthand!
As a boy, Alan wanted to fly planes. As a young navy pilot, Alan wished he could paint the view from the cockpit. So he took an art class to learn patterns and forms. But no class could prepare him for the beauty o
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Orchard Books
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Abby Johnson
Despite the cover being a little misleading (Alan Bean made his paintings after he got back from the moon, using models to help get the light and shadow correct), this is an engaging story about a man who was both an astronaut and an artist. It includes extensive back matter with more information about Bean, a timeline about space exploration, and a bibliography.

Hand this to young readers interested in space travel and the moon. Readalike: ONE GIANT LEAP by Don Brown
Ben Truong
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean is a biographical children's picture book written by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Sean Rubin. It is a portrait of Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon and the first to express what that felt like in paint.

Alan LaVern "Al" Bean was an American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut; he was the fourth person to walk on the Moon. He was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 196
My kids really loved this book. It is a non fiction book, so a lot of facts about Bean's journey to the moon as an astronaut. What was interesting was when he got back, Bean wanted people to see more than just black and white photographs. He wanted people to feel the experience through his paintings.

Overall, as a non fiction picture book this is a great book. Even for older kids. Shows how colors can express emotions/feelings. How a person can be several different things in life. Bean was a pla
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s difficult to find non-fiction picture books which really capture a kid’s attention, but my five-year old liked this biography combining space and art.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really cool book! I never knew that an artist went to the moon. I love that this shows kids you don't have to be just one thing. You can have multiple passions. The illustrations are GORGEOUS!
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dean Robbins will entrance young scientists and artists with his true story of Alan Bean, who became an astronaut and the fourth man to walk on the moon! Bean used his artistic skill to create pictures that bring the beauty and emotions of that journey to life. Wonderful back matter and photographs further enhance this amazing book. Art by the very talented Sean Rubin.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading this, I looked up pictures of Bean's artwork; WOW! This book helped me understand and appreciate it so much more. Amazing! Can you imagine if an artist went on every scientific expedition to a new place? Or if a musician went and then recorded a new piece based on the science of it all? I love the cross between science and art here! Science and art DO belong together!
Gabby Wiot
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon is a true story of Alan Bean, a pilot and astronaut, following his dreams in being an artist. This picture book uses expressive illustrations and bright colors to depict Alan's career throughout his life. It starts by looking at his life as a pilot. While being a pilot, he was constantly looking out over the beautiful landscapes and admiring how wonderful it would to be able to paint this. Then, it dives into his career as an astronaut as he goes to space and t
First sentence: Lights flashed. A rocket rumbled. Alan Bean's dream was about to come true.

Premise/plot: The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon is a picture book biography of Alan Bean. The book shares how he was a pilot and astronaut who learned to paint...not just what he saw, but what he felt. He would take the photographs he took of the moon and translate them into artistic paintings of what he felt like being on the moon. Whether you're interest--as a reader--is in space or space travel OR art-
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon missions, Dean Robbins has created a picture book about astronaut Alan Bean. Bean was part of the Apollo 12 mission and the fourth man to walk on the moon. Working with Bean, author Dean Robbins tells of the astronaut's childhood model airplanes, his time as a Navy pilot, and his trip to the moon.

The pages are filled with color. The green, red, and yellow on those models hanging in that boyhood bedroom; the white, green, and blue seen from
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yabc-reviews
Find my full review here:

THE ASTRONAUT WHO PAINTED THE MOON is the true story of Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon. He had always wanted to be a pilot, and when the opportunity came, he became an astronaut. He took pictures of what he saw on the moon, but they did not match up to what he felt. Thus, when he returned he painted the moon for others to experience.

Most of the book details the history and story in an approachable way for young read
Faith Walton
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book tells the story of astronaut artist Alan Bean. It shows that from a young boy he wanted to be a pilot. He also took art classes and painted what he felt. These two worlds combined when he became an astronaut. When he got up to the moon he felt so many emotions. When he came back down to Earth, he found it hard to express those emotions in words, so instead, he painted what he saw and how he felt. He created models to get the shadows just right and used many different colors that evoked ...more
The fourth man to walk on the moon, Alan Bean was also an artist, and he viewed his trip to the moon through the eyes of an explorer and a scientist but also as artist. The text and illustrations in this picture book honor the Apollo XII voyage and Alan's formative years and years of training but also his particular vision and how he felt upon walking on the lunar landscape. Once he returned to Earth, he was troubled that photographs were unable to capture his experience and the beauty of the mo ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-6-biography
When imagining the life of an astronaut who was one of only four to have the opportunity to actually land on the moon, one doesn't think of artist types. Yet after reading Dean Robbins story, it becomes clear that Alan Bean did just that. His trip to the moon was so wondrous he realized that photos didn't portray an accurate picture of the moon or outer space, and the feelings experienced far above Earth. Since Alan Bean always had a passion for expressing himself artistically, he started studyi ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here's a gem for STEM classes and for every other kind of reader! Based on interviews with Alan Bean, Dean Robbins chronicles the fascinating story of Bean's journey to and artistic fascination with the moon. A truly inspiring story of the joyful melding of science, flying and art in a remarkable life.

Sean Rubin's illustrations are wonderfully detailed and actual photographs are liberally placed throughout the book as well.

Back matter includes more biographical information about Bean, a history
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alan Bean was one of only 12 astronauts that actually walked on the moon. While that was amazing, he said that the photographs didn't do the experience justice. You couldn't really feel all the sensations and full experience through the flat back and white photographs. Being a painter as well as an astronaut, Alan took the photographs and the memories of his experiences and began painting about his experiences. The book shows you some of the photographs and then his paintings of the photographs. ...more
Joan Marie
Young readers will know that astronauts are scientists who travel to outer space. But do they know that one astronaut who flew to the moon is also an artist? This biography tells about Alan Bean, the astronaut who walked on the moon and Alan Bean, the artist who painted colorful images to show what it felt like to be there! His paintings use bold colors to express the excitement he felt while in outer space. He even stamped some of his paintings with his astronaut boots. And scratched some of hi ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a picture book biography of Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon. The story talks about how after his return he went on to become an artist who recorded his feelings and memories about being on the moon through his art. The illustrations are bright and engaging. A lot of the illustrations are reminiscent of Bean's own artwork about space. This is recommended as a biography of the astronauts with a less technical twist. The end of the book includes an author's note that gives ...more
Juliana Lee
Alan Bean is an astronaut who loves painting. He learned to paint to express how he feels. Alan didn't paint things exactly like they were in real life, he painted more brightly, more vibrantly, to show how he felt about his subjects. So when he returned from a trip to the moon and he was asked what the moon was like. Alan knew he couldn't describe it in words, instead he took out his paints and showed how the moon made him feel, how being an astronaut makes him feel. Now his paintings are shown ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon is a biographical picture book about Alan Bean, one of the first astronauts to ever land on the moon.

The storytelling in this biography was really lovely. It weaved between two timelines; Alan Bean as an adult and Alan Bean during his childhood. The art followed a specific color scheme throughout as well, which was beautifully executed.

The amount of research that went into this biography was impressive and appreciated. The last few pages of the book are filled
Kendal Pursel
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Genre: Biography
Age: 1st-5th grade

Not only did I enjoy reading this book and learning about Alan Bean, but I also really appreciated the illustrations. The pictures were fun to look at and really helped tell the story of his journey. Alan Bean had a really cool experience that not many people can relate to. It was so neat to read about his adventures and what he was able to do with those experiences.
Neat little picture book biography of Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, one of 12 humans to walk on the moon and the only one to paint about it. Solid backmatter, including snippets of interviews by the author with Bean and images of Bean's artwork.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is very creative and sentimental. I can’t quite pinpoint what exactly it is that makes it sentimental, but there is like an epiphany feeling and experience that I’m having that gives me such a renewed hope for the Astronomy industry.
Tracy Holland
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alan Bean, astronaut on the Apollo 12 mission to the moon, is one of the few men to have walked on the surface of the moon. But Alan Bean is more than an astronaut, he is an artist and known for his pieces that portray his experience on the moon. Good picture book about Alan Bean.
Maria Marshall
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous nonfiction book that blends art and science. When the atrist and astronaut Allen Bean returns to earth he paints what he saw, felt, and encountered as he stood on the moon. Great STEAM book.
Nov 13, 2019 added it
Shelves: ehs
This is a great story, accessible to young readers, with lovely illustrations. The story of Alan Bean, scientist and astronaut, in the format of a child's picture book seems incongruous, yet the medium is perfect for more fully explaining the experience - and beyond.
Jo Oehrlein
About Alan Bean who learned to fly and then learned to paint so he could express what he saw. When he joined NASA and then went to the moon, he came back and worked to paint what his experience of the moon had been like.
Melinda Bender
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who else would be better to recreate pictures from space then someone who actually was in space. Astronaut Allen Bean wanted to share what he saw and convey his feelings of seeing such the awesomeness of space. Interesting twist on a book of space and the pairing of art. Kids would enjoy this.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations to tel the story of Alan Bean an astronaut who walked on the moon and went on to paint what he saw.

My students grades 3-4

Suggest to Mr Swarts to connect with reading curriculum?
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
" I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints, but as an artist who was once an astronaut" -Alan Bean
This is a lovely picture book about a fine astronaut and artist who flew on the Apollo 12 mission. He sprinkled moon dust on his paintings, how many artists can claim that?
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