This was an illustrated children's science-fiction book I read in the early 1970s, but had a very 1960s feel (thinking back now). There were a couple of astronauts on the moon. Somehow they got into a system of strange, round tunnels. The tunnels turned out to be made by giant worms.

I don't remember anything else about the plot, but I associate the book with some astronaut figure toys I had at the same time - I'm fairly sure the toy astronauts were a tie-in to the book. The figures were about 5-6" tall, in bright orange and white spacesuits, and made of rubber over a wire skeleton, so they were very poseable. They had plastic space helmets.


That figure sounds like Matt Mason and this link confirms there was a tie-in book with moon worms:

The writing is iffy at best but wildly, and I mean WILDLY imaginative: moon rabbits, moon worms, "nothing" beings--and all the great Major Matt Mason vehicles.

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It appears to have been a Whitman Big Little Book, and is listed on a collector's info page like this:


Big Little Book 2000 Series®; 1968. Hard cover. Size: 3 7/8" x 5' x 7/8";

4-color illustrations; 256 pages. Author: George S. Elrick. Artist: Unknown.

COLLECTOR'S NOTE: No price printed on cover.

A text file of the entire book is available at the Internet Archive here.

I had Matt and some of his accessories back in the day, but sadly I didn't have this book. Matt's spacesuit was white, but his colleague Sergeant Storm had an orange suit.

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That internal "wire skeleton" broke if you played with them too much :(

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    That's it, thanks helping me remember a piece of my childhood. :-) – LAK May 16 '19 at 14:59
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    Matt Mason - the MM explains why I had "Mike Mars" stuck in my head, but that's a different set of semi-fictional books dealing with NASA. – LAK May 16 '19 at 15:00
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    I'm sorry I missed reading it back in the day....it's available from resellers, but pricey. – Organic Marble May 16 '19 at 15:00
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    I think I recall eventually breaking off one of my guys' arms. Also the orange/white paint on the black rubber tended to peel after a while. – LAK May 16 '19 at 15:07
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    We had his weird alien friend Captain Lazer too - he was made of hard plastic. – Organic Marble May 16 '19 at 15:09

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