Cincinnati Museum Center’s beloved Moon rock tells its own story in new children’s book

CINCINNATI – “A piece of this young basalt is completely separated from its mother. Its brothers and sisters lie nearby. Let’s call him Bok.”

So begins the story of one intrepid rock and its journey across the stars to a foreign planet.
Bok’s Giant Leap: One Moon Rock’s Journey Through Time and Space, published by Crown Publishing in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and Carol Armstrong, tells the story of how the Earth and the Moon came to be through the eyes of a Moon rock brought to Earth during the Apollo 11 mission by astronaut Neil Armstrong.

In 2006, as he was awarded NASA’s Ambassador of Exploration Award in Union Terminal’s grand Rotunda, Armstrong presented Bok to CMC as a long-term loan from NASA. As he accepted the award, Armstrong told the story of billions of years of lunar history through the eyes of little Bok – up to the day it was snatched up by a gloved hand and brought to Earth. In Armstrong’s own words, “I was the strange creature that kidnapped Bok.”

Armstrong’s story of Bok is retold in Bok’s Giant Leap, brilliantly brought to life by award-winning illustrator Grahame Baker Smith.

“The beautiful illustrations by Grahame Baker Smith bring Bok to anyone who reads Neil’s story of Bok the Rock,” said Carol Armstrong.

Armstrong was an emeritus trustee of CMC and former board chair of the Museum of Natural History & Science. He selected CMC as the recipient of the piece of human exploration history because, in his words, “a place of natural history is a great place for Bok to be.”

“Millions have come to know and love Bok here at Cincinnati Museum Center over the years and we are so excited people across the world will hear its story,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Neil’s charming tale of Bok’s life and journey captures the glee he must have felt standing in Bok’s homeland on his historic journey. Now, a new generation can relive both of their incredible journeys in Bok’s Giant Leap.”

Bok’s Giant Leap is available now at local retailers and science museums across the country, including Space Center Houston, select Smithsonian institutions and CMC’s retail shop. You can visit Bok in person and hear the story in Armstrong’s own voice in CMC’s Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery, presented by the Harold C. Schott Foundation, where Bok is on long-term loan from NASA.

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