Celebrate Apollo 11 With Photoshopped Images

While Flight celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, one person has a quirky way of commemorating the event.

I’m normally skeptical of anything that is advertised “As seen on TV”, and this is reinforcing my view:

Seattle author and photographer Michael Class has used digital composite photography to place his twelve year-old son, Anthony, in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, in the laboratory with Thomas Edison, on the baseball diamond with Lou Gehrig, and on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

“I wanted to capture the interest of today’s kids,” says Class, “by turning American history into a grand time travel adventure.” His result is Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame, and is recommended for grades 6-12.

“The book’s vivid narrative and captivating photographs transported me through space and time,” says Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. “I felt that I was once again standing on the surface of the Moon in 1969. Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame tells it like it really was in America’s early space program – the adventure, the risks, and the rewards. I almost believe that Anthony was there! I think that parents and teachers will appreciate the inspiring message this unique history book holds for America’s next generation. I recommend this book to all young Americans, may they take us to the stars and beyond.”

To be fair, I have not read the book. But I have seen these photos from the book. 




I’m sure there is merit for very young readers, but not for grades 6-12, the book’s targeted audience. Has anyone seen or read this book? I would be interesting in hearing your thoughts.

And on that note, Happy Apollo 11 launch anniversary! Our celebration continues on Apollo@40.

8 Responses to Celebrate Apollo 11 With Photoshopped Images

  1. Global Ranger 16 July, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Ghastly !

  2. Astronomy Science Fair Projects 16 July, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    The replay of the Apollo 11 mission is a fantastic opportunity for two generations of humans to experience the excitement, the tension and the novelty of a highly publicized space mission. This is a great chance for current science students to see exactly how far we’ve come, or not come, since first landing on the moon.

  3. Michael Class 16 July, 2009 at 6:30 pm #


    Thank you for the brief description and mention of my book. The book is designed to be immersive – getting kids into history, encouraging them to experience it and understand the impact of past events on their world today.

    So, in my book, I “sent” my real-life son, twelve-year-old Anthony, through a Magic Picture Frame…a time machine. My son time-travels into the great events of the 20th Century. Advanced digital photography places Anthony in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in the laboratories of Thomas Edison and Jonas Salk, and on Normandy beach on D-Day. Anthony “meets” and “talks with” Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, Audie Murphy, Holocaust survivors, and many others.

    But, historical accuracy rules every page of Anthony’s adventure in time: Anthony’s conversations with America’s heroes are based on things they really said.

    But the immersive part of the book is what teachers and parents have really enjoyed…as well as students in grades 6-12. The book also includes recommendations for 461 books, 595 movies, 217 songs, and 155 places to visit – a built-in “time machine” that parents, teachers, and kids can use to experience the past, and to “meet” hundreds of people who succeeded in America, often overcoming overwhelming odds.

    In the Apollo 11 Chapter, there are recommendations for 41 books on the subject of space exploration, 46 movies, 16 songs, and 21 places to visit that bring the Apollo program to life!

    Yes, the book was featured on news programs on TV. The programs featured the research that went into the book, as well as the historical figures and families I worked with to get the first-hand information. Remember, Anthony travels in time as a first-person observer, so he has to notice things that only an eyewitness would see.

    For example, in the Apollo 11 chapter, Anthony sees Astronaut Buzz Aldrin leave Soviet cosmonaut medals on the moon, and he provides the story behind this little-known fact.

    But even thought this is a history book – with a twist of science fiction adventure – I wrote the book because kids today have no connection to the Apollo program. They have never seen a man walk on the moon. They don’t know what the space program has done for them.

    The book provides dozens of examples of modern-day technologies and products, used by kids, that are based on space program technology. This is a connection.

    As for wonder…well, Anthony says it best in the book. He says:

    “In my time there is not one child who has seen a man, or a woman, walk on the surface of the moon. My father reminds me of something that astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to stand on the moon, wrote: ‘Somewhere on Earth today is the young girl or boy, the possessor of indomitable will and courage, who will lift that dubious honor from me and take us back where we belong.’”

    – Michael Class


  4. Doug Vogel 16 July, 2009 at 7:13 pm #


    It’s a shame you haven’t seen the book or read it. It was published a few years ago, not as a specific commemorative tie-in to Apollo 11′s anniversary.

    I read the book before recommending it to my friends. What you are missing are the footnotes and links at the end of every chapter suggesting further reading if you are interested in a specific topic or person. Not just 2 or 4, but 50+.

    Something a bit more subtle, every quote from a famous person can be traced to an actual quote of theirs on record. Of course Anthony wasn’t really there, but if Thomas Edison makes a comment about inventiveness or inspiration, it documented somewhere.

    True the pictures are a bit of a stretch, but the detail and information in each chapter make for a good read.

  5. Karen Finch 16 July, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    Evidently, Buzz Aldrin – Apollo 11 Astronaut – HAS read the book, and he has arrived at a completely different conclusion than you about it.

    I went to the book’s Website and the book seems to be a charming and inventive approach to teaching history. Cool!

  6. Tech 17 July, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    When are they going to send someone to walk on the moon again? It’s been 40 years!

  7. Barbara Cockburn 23 July, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Just for clarification, this entry was on the Flight Blog, which aims to capture ‘the quirkier side of the aviation industry’. Everyone is in agreement these Photoshopped pictures are ‘quirky’. Thanks for the comments!

  8. Winning Science Fair Projects 5 August, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    Watching the anniversary special on the moon landing was a lot of fun. I wonder how much more we could have gotten from this historic event had the digital transmission capabilities that we have now been available then. Kids working on middle school science fair projects can ponder this question.

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