My First Book of the Planets, by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by John Nez, Little Golden Books, 1985.
There is something so optimistic about a space book written in the mid-1980s. Back then, the space shuttle was just beginning to fly, the space station was in the planning stages, and Pluto was still a planet. We couldn't foresee a time when we wouldn't have a manned vehicle that could travel into space. My husband had just started working with the space program and a few years later would move to the Space Coast of Florida.
Fast-forward 29 years, and not only am I out of high school, but everything about the space program has changed. The last launch of the space shuttle was three years ago, and, no matter what Space-X tries to tell you, there is no vehicle in the works that can replace the shuttle.
The text and illustrations of this Little Golden Book capture the optimism of the mid-1980s perfectly. The nostalgia makes me smile.