Moon Plane

Written and Illustrated by: Peter McCarthy

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Take a moment to look over the cover and illustrations with your child. Let him/her make predictions about the story you are about to read and think about previous experiences by asking:

What do you see on the cover?

Where do you think the little boy wants to go on the plane?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you see in this picture?

Have you ever been on a plane? Where did you go? Did you like flying? What was your favorite part?

For younger children who are less verbal, continue to engage in these pre-reading questions. Try giving sentence starters, or simpler questions. For example, “Where do planes fly?”

As You Read

Vocabulary Building:

For little ones with limited vocabularies, point to different elements in the illustrations and give them names or ask what they are. For example, point to the plane and ask, “What is this?” Get excited when your child engages with you and the story. For older children, promote curiosity and inquisitiveness by encouraging him/her to ask questions and make comments. Ask questions as you go along as well. When the little boy imagines landing on the moon and flying like the plane, ask, “Do you know what makes him fly like that in space?” You can briefly explain that gravity makes it so that when we jump up on Earth, we come right back down but in space, there is no gravity so he can jump really high like he is flying.

Making Connections:

Ask if a part of the story elicits any specific memories of past experiences. For example, when the boy imagines soaring past a train, ask, “What sound does a train make? Have you ever been on a train? If so, did you have fun on the train? Which do you like better, planes or trains? Why?” Again, for younger kids, it also works to simply recount memories to them.

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret:

For little ones, it is important to ask questions even if they aren’t capable of giving a full verbal response, so you can ask the questions and give your own answers as well. Ask these questions to get your child thinking about the story as a whole:

Did you like that story? Why or why not? What kinds of things did the little boy want to do in the airplane?

Where do you want to fly to next? Why do you want to go there?

Activity: Paper and Straw Airplane

Adapted from DIY Network
Supplies: scissors, tape, straws, colored cardstock or construction paper


This incredibly easy craft may not look too impressive but once you get it in the air, your child will have a blast flying and racing these awesome airplanes.

  1. Cut three 5” by 1” strips of card stock or construction paper for each airplane. Then tape two of the strips together at the ends. This will leave you with one short strip and one longer strip.

  2. Tape the ends of each strip together to create two different sized circles. Use a piece of tape to secure the end of the straw inside the large circle. Then repeat with the smaller circle on the other side of the straw. Make several airplanes and you can both fly your own airplanes around the house!