The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Maverick Arts
Publish Date
10.5 X 10.5 X 0.5 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Alison Donald now lives in the UK with her husband and three children. She is a writer and works as a pediatric occupational therapist, helping children with special needs reach their potential.
As soon as Ariel Landy learned how to draw a sky beyond a blue scribbled line, she knew she wanted to be an illustrator. Raised on coloring books and crayons outside of Boston, she now lives in France with her husband and dog. Visit her online at


"Who would have guessed from standard-issue histories of the space race that the spacesuits worn on the moon were largely the work of women employed by the manufacturer of Playtex bras and lines of baby wear? Here, in a profile that laudably focuses on her subject's unusual skills, dedicated work ethic, and uncommon attention to detail rather than her gender or family life, Donald takes Eleanor 'Ellie' Foraker from childhood fascination with needle and thread to work at ILC Dover, then on to the team that created the safe, flexible A7L spacesuit--beating out firms of military designers and engineers to win a NASA competition. Though the author clearly attempts to steer clear of sexist language, she still leaves Foraker and her co-workers dubbed 'seamstresses' throughout and 'engineer' rather unfairly (all so designated presenting male here) defined in the glossary as 'someone who designs and makes things.' Still, her descriptions of the suit's concepts and construction are clear and specific enough to give readers a real appreciation for the technical challenges that were faced and solved. Landy gives the figures in her cleanly drawn illustrations individual features along with period hair and clothing, varying skin tones so that though most are white, at least two are women of color. An outstanding contribution to the recent spate of reminders that women too helped send men to the moon. (Informational picture book. 7-9)"--starred, Kirkus Reviews


"The individuals who helped put a man on the moon were not just rocket scientists--and certainly not just men. Inspired by a real-life historical figure, Donald introduces Eleanor 'Ellie' Foraker, who, early in her life, discovers a love of sewing and clothing design. As an adult, Foraker is employed at a clothing company; when her employer enters a competition to sew spacesuits for Apollo astronauts, Foraker leads the team. Landy's quiet, cartoony artwork depicts the subject and her fellow seamstresses as they brainstorm suit designs, troubleshoot, and put in tireless hours sewing ('within 1/64 of an inch, ' notes one of the many stated facts). When astronauts test the suits alongside other designs, theirs is deemed 'comfortable. Heat resistant. Light enough to walk on the moon, ' and wins. Readers won't gain a strong sense of Foraker as a distinctive character, and the book feels aimed at those younger than the stated age range, but Donald provides a window into a little-told piece of history that is sure to intrigue."--Publishers Weekly