Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Wonderful Flight To The Mushroom Planet


(Click on images to view full size-scans.)

Written by Eleanor Cameron in 1954, this charming children's book is one that holds good memories for me. The cover art above is scanned from my copy, still intact but a little dog-eared after all threse years. Although not technically monster memories, I suppose the green, bulbous-headed aliens could be called monsters for convenience' sake in order to fit here. At any rate, when I was about nine years old, in 1969, I bought this through the Scholastic book program at school, and re-read it many times. The story of two boy's journey through outer space in a homemade space ship to another planet really captured my young imagination. The idea of a trip to meet aliens in an self-made (but alien technology-enhanced) ship was echoed in the film "Explorers," which I enjoyed many years later.

I remember reading some of this book while tucked in one of my own cardboard box spaceships, whixh made it even more fun. Of course, my parents worried how I could spend hours on end in a cardboard box, but little did they know my mind was soaring off on amazing adventures. With my canteen full of Goofy Grape soft drink, a peanut butter sandwich, and a good book, I would be ensconced for hours in my make-believe space capsule.

Did you ever do stuff like that when you were a kid? Discuss.

Update: G. W. Ferguson's blog has a delightful recollection of spending some memorable childhood hours in such cardboard boxes; enjoy it here!

14 comments:

DLR said...

What I remember about this book (it may have been the sequel, however) was its discussion of relativity and the consequences of near-light travel... if I remember correctly, there was a villain who end up trapped at light speed, stuck forever in the same moment of time... pretty nightmarish if one is the contemplative type of youngster. Am I thinking of the right book?

Frederick said...

DLR,

It must have been one of the sequels... that wasn't in the one I have. But it does sound pretty scary... seems like I remember some scenario like that now that you mention it... but the bad guy never knew he was stuck. Hmm! Now I wonder where it was, myself!

MANDRA said...

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I found your blog and I feel wonderful!

I hope I can still see most things,
and following you.

a huge
Greetings

ILozZoc said...

Wow, I read this one soooo long ago; and still remember the effect it had on me. It's wonderful to get a memory jolt from reading your review. Thanks!

G. W. Ferguson said...

Didn't have that particular book, but I did spend hours in my cardboard box spaceship much to the concern of my parents (good thing The Martian Child hadn't been filmed yet). What a GREAT way to spend a Saturday afternoon, sequestered in my space capsule with, yes, some good books, a couple of sandwiches, and a handy porthole for observing Shock Theatre (to be quickly closed if things got too scary).

Frederick said...

G.W.

Thanks for the comment! Yes, my parents were alos concerned about how much time I spent in those boxes. They even mentioned taking me to a shrink, but that was just a threat, they would never care that much or spend that much money on me. It was easier to just threaten to drop me off at the local orphanage or rest stop.

But yeah, those boxes got worn out, didn't they? A lot of light years on the odometer.

Maurizio Ercole said...

Matango from space!!!

G. W. Ferguson said...

You inspired me.

AWF said...

I hunted this book down on EBay a few years back and reread it to my boy at bedtime, then 9. To my ears it was, sadly, a bit dated. But to my great excitement, I could hear in his voice the same excitement I felt about it all those years ago. Cheers.

KingsSideCastle said...

Wow this brings back a page from my past. I remember reading this book when I was a kid.

Guess I've always been a science fiction fan at heart. ^_^

monica Madriz said...

well im an 8th grade student @ N.M.C.M.S. and im going to read the book "The Wonderfull Flight To Mushroom Planet" for a science fiction book report... :D
ouch maii toe seriously hurts....
lol.... i think ima like this book!!!! :D

Bento Box said...

I made some food art, which might remind you of Aliens on a Mushroom planet: here is the link http://blog.bento-box.org.uk/360/alien-bento/

I have also made other nostalgic Food Art from 80s cartoon characters, which you might find of interest!

Anonymous said...

I love this book. I got the rocket ship from the beginning of the chapters tattooed on my arm.

Anonymous said...

In 1969 I, too, was 9 years old, and also acquired a copy this book (identical cover art to the one you posted, if memory serves) through Scholastic Books. Sadly, I don't believe I ever finished reading it! I was a horribly poorly motivated reader back then (although just a few years later, I would develop into an obsessive reader- an affliction that's remained with me ever since). What I do remember about the story was that there were references to flying lizards, and one strange little girl in my 4th grade class who also had the book, had become completely obsessed with the aforementioned lizards- to the point of getting in trouble with our teacher over it! Well, 40 years later, maybe I should finish reading the story...