FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2021
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Cincinnati Museum Center’s beloved Moon rock tells its story in new children’s book

Bok’s Giant Leap scheduled for November release

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.

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is pleased to announce, in partnership with Carol Armstrong, the release of Bok’s Giant Leap. The children’s book, published by Crown Publishing, 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 at CMC, Armstrong presented Bok to CMC as a long-term loan from NASA. 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.”

In his speech accepting the Ambassador of Exploration Award, Armstrong related the story of Bok. That story is retold in Bok’s Giant Leap, brilliantly brought to life by award-winning illustrator Grahame Baker Smith.

Little Bok was just one rock among the pounds of Moon rocks collected during the historic Apollo 11 mission. The extraordinary rock had orbited the Earth for billions of years before Armstrong snatched it up with his gloved hand and brought it to Earth. In Armstrong’s own words, “I was the strange creature that kidnapped Bok.”

“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 his 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 own historic journey. Now, a new generation can relive both of their incredible journeys through Bok’s Giant Leap.”

Bok’s Giant Leap will be available to purchase in CMC’s retail shop in November but you can preorder the book now directly from Crown Publishing. You can visit Bok in person in CMC’s Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery, presented by the Harold C. Schott Foundation, where it is on long-term display.


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually. For more information, visit