Meet Matilda Rocket Builder


Meet Matilda Rocket Builder who is determined to create her own space rocket to the moon. It’s true that she knows very little about travelling into space, but Matilda is focused. What’s more, she has Kareem to help her!

First of all, Matilda needs to understand why rockets are built in the way they are particularly, including the dominant first stage. Why is so much fuel- 85% of weight- required? Then again, how do you breathe? What about bodily functions? How do you choose your payload (packing list.)

More practical considerations include the huge maths required to break through gravity to successfully travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Yet, what does that mean? It seems that any rocket Matilda builds must be planned specifically, including its dimensions, construction materials and shape. Design incorporates the mathematics and science of our universe particularly. As Matilda learns, she plots and plans, making lists and comparisons. We are fully ‘aboard’ with her planning. Yet, is it feasible?

Dom Conlon and Heidi Cannon have created a truly absorbing, fascinating and accessible investigation of space travel. Matilda is determined, open- minded, open to comparing and changing. What’s more, as she learns, so does she! Bookwagon recommends Meet Matilda Rocket Builder for every space enthusiast and those who enjoy STEM facts, and history.

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Meet Matilda Rocket Builder

Dom Conlon, illustrated by Heidi Cannon

(UCLan Publishing)

Meet Matilda Rocket Builder who despite the seeming obstacles plans a ‘journey to the Moon’. Of course, she’s aware that the odds are stacked against her. Kareem is not the only problem. Then again, it’s the fact she has so much to learn. Why is  so much weight needed for fuel in the first stage rocket? Payload takes a small space only. Then again, is it possible that Newton’s Inverse Square Law might explain this? It seems that Matilda will have to research deeply and determinedly to understand all that is at stake. What’s more, she will have to travel into history, through the work of Isaac Newton to understanding escape velocity.
Matilda is practical. It means that as she investigates, she compares her learning with what she knows. Therefore, she considers the drag experienced in a rollercoaster ride, with that of being aboard a rocket. She experiments also. For example, she makes a home carbon dioxide scrubber after reading about events with Apollo 13:- Survival in Space.
There is so much to contemplate, not only mathematics and the ‘hold’ of gravity, within this fascinating investigation into practical space travel. For example, why is there no furniture included in a space rocket? Then again, something I’d never considered… how do you time it right? After all, the orbiting patterns of the Earth mean that distance and destination must be plotted exactly! What would happen if the maths were wrong?
Meet Matilda Rocket Builder is a thorough, informative, resolute non-fiction journey. Dom Conlon earned his stripes with the superb poetry title about the same subject, This Rock That Rock. Heidi Cannon’s illustrations are pin-point precise and really helpful. This title is for the serious space enthusiast, or those keen to learn a little more about this subject.


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