Book Reviews of Welcome to the Moon.

1. "The moon can be a confusing place to the beginning observer and the author has done a nice job of dividing up the moon into manageable pieces. I also like the fact that he doesn't simply give a description of the physical appearance of a feature, but gives us some insight into its possible origin and history. References to the Apollo missions were a nice touch that remind the reader that the moon isn't just an object in the sky; it's a place....I noticed that [the illustrations] were all made using small telescopes; that's great! Far too many guides for small telescopes use sketches and photographs made with large instruments thereby giving beginners unrealistic expectations of what they can see with their 60mm refractors. All in all, nicely done." (William Dembowski, The Lunar Observer)

2. "This charming book appeals to my sense of exploration. It provides a simple and yet thorough explanation of how to navigate the magical lunar surface. The author used a friendly, and descriptive style to instruct in the use of telescopes and a refreshing incentive to produce drawings instead of photography of the lunar terrain. Welcome to the Moon! allows amateur astronomers with limited knowledge and equipment resources to successfully grasp a rewarding understanding of lunar formation, physical features and visual parameters. Without doubt this literature of elementary astronomy will find its way into a much needed 'user friendly' category for the beginning explorer to take an exciting look at our closest neighbor, the Moon." (Lorann R. Parker, Ph.D, Stellar Matters, a quarterly newsletter of Mountain Skies Astronomical Society, Nov. 1997)

3. "This slim observer's guide to our nearest planetary neighbor is structured around 12 'lunar expeditions' using a small telescope. While intended for young astronomers, his 'Moon hops' would be suitable for any novice wanting to gain familiarity with our natural satellite" (Sky and Telescope, Feb. 1998, p. 64).

4. "Welcome to the Moon! offers twelve expeditions to exciting lunar features that you can see from your own backyard in the evening. You don't need to have a large telescope or be an experienced observer. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and enjoy a tour of our nearest neighbor in space. Welcome to the Moon! shows you how to use your telescope, how to observe the moon and what to look for. The turbulent history of the moon will unfold before your eyes as you explore battered lunar mountain ranges and massive lava flows. Welcome to the Moon! is ideal for classroom and homeschooling homework assignments--and launching the backyard careers of aspiring astronomers from 9 to 90!" (Wisconsin Bookwatch, Dec. 1997)

5. "Hi! Welcome to the Moon! Well, not really. Our last manned trek there was over 30 years ago, although there are suddenly whispers about going back - probably to retrieve the golf balls launched from the Apollo 14 landing site by Alan Shepard.

However, we now have close to the next best thing. R.B. Kelsey's slim (112 page) book is a great way to become introduced to the landscape of our nearest celestial neighbor. Through 12 "expeditions," he slowly goes through the varied and increasing illumination from a 3-day old Moon to its full phase.

For readers just beginning to observe with a telescope, the most important sections of the book will be chapters 1 and 2. Kelsey starts at the very beginning, aligning the finder scope, then reminds the reader to start slow and "Read the manual" before attempting a night's activities.

And, then, it's off to the Moon! Each section shows sketches of relevant surface features, and gives a little information about them. For example, "(Crater) Petavius's walls have been damaged by other impacts, and under some light angles you can see rilles in its floor, indicating lava flows." Each section has a "Lunar History," explaining how features were probably formed, why we went to the landing sites we did, or how differing eyepieces change the view of the relevant landscape. Kelsey uses a format similar to an amateur astronomer's "star-hopping," starting at an easy-to-find feature and moving around with respect to that point to find other areas of importance.

As introduction to the Moon and its myriad mysteries, this book is great. Not only was it a good read, but I could see it become a mini-Bible for amateur or school astronomy clubs looking for an observing project. Its reading level is basic enough for all ages; therefore, everyone should be able to follow, and enjoy, this first look at our lunar landscape."

Francine Jackson, Providence, Rhode Island (Planetarian, Deecember 2004)