martin on the moon

Martin on the Moon by Martine Audet, illustrated by Luc Melanson

Martin has just started school, but as he sits in class, his mind continues to wander.  His teacher reminds him of his cat due to her hair color.  Then he daydreams about the trip he and his mother took to the river and thinks about the water there.  He tries to pay attention, since it is the first day of school, but then his teacher reminds him of a seagull with the way she is moving her arms.  Martin remembers a time when he was out drawing and got to see a bolt of lightning in the sky.  When he shared that it looked like someone coloring outside the lines, his mother wanted to use the image in a poem. Martin then starts thinking about poems and kisses, until his teacher asks him who he’s blowing kisses to. 

Nominated for the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse in its original French, this book works well translated into English.  The poetic language, the imagery and the creativity of young Martin all work together to create a beautiful unity.  This is a striking example of a picture book whose strength comes from its writing rather than its illustrations.  The writing is powerful, visual and uses imagery that children will easily relate to.  Tying in poetry itself to the story makes it all the more concrete.

Melanson’s illustrations have a soft texture and use a successful mix of vibrant and softer colors.  The illustrations don’t offer much detail, instead being more about color and texture than finer touches. 

Poetic and lovely, this picture book would work well in a unit on imagery or poetry.  I’d also get it into the hands of any young daydreamer.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.