Moonday by Adam Rex
This luminous picture book answers the question about what would happen if the moon lowered itself into your backyard. The boy in the story finds the moon so slow in his yard that he can not just touch it, but climb around on it and into its craters. The rest of the world though, stayed dark as night. The children had to go to school in the darkness and everyone was tired. Back home, they tried to hide the moon under tablecloths and blankets. But then the tide entered their yard and the dogs gathered to howl at the moon too. So the family took the moon for a drive and it followed their car until they went to the top of a big hill and it got caught in the tops of the trees. They asked it to stay there, and there it hung, once more high in the air.
This is a treat of a picture book. It doesn’t just ask the question about what would happen if the moon dropped into your yard, but it also finds a solution that is satisfying and beautiful. I loved that the story is bookended by the drive in the car where the moon followed them home and then another drive where they returned it to the sky. The entire book has a sense of wonder about it, but also a great foundation of practicality and humor.
Rex’s art glows on the page. The moon is bright and round, filling every page it appears on with a white, wintry glow. The other pages show the darkness which makes the moon all that much brighter when it appears. The moon covered with tablecloths and blankets is not dimmer at all, just lightly patterned.
Magical and beautiful, this book is dreamlike and special. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from library copy.
When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Chris Raschka
The author of It’s Perfectly Normal joins forces with a Caldecott Medalist to create this picture book. It is the story of a young boy who is overwhelmed by a visit to the zoo with all of the animal noises. He also gets scared of a thunder storm, sirens and mommy and daddy shouting. When it all becomes too frightening, the boy sits down, shuts his eyes and tells the scary to go away. And it does. Then he can hear the quiet again and he stands back up and opens his eyes. He is off to run in the sunshine, look at nature and hear the softer sounds around him.
This is a simple picture book with lines that don’t rhyme but a rhythm that ties them all together into almost verse. Harris captures the feeling of a child overwhelmed by noise but also by negative things happening. I appreciate that the child solves the issue on his own by becoming introspective and mindful and not by having a tantrum. It is a book about centering oneself and calming down even in a loud environment. The return to being able to hear the softer things and enjoy your surroundings again is particularly effective.
Rashka’s art is his signature style with loose sweeps of paint in bright colors. His images are swirls of movement that work very well with the subject matter. From the noises in the air to the quieter moments, the boy’s entire body language changes as he gives in to the overwhelming feelings first and then recovers from them.
A strong book, this is one that will encourage children to center themselves and be in charge of their own reactions to overstimulation. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Orchard Books.
Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:
‘Battle Bunny,’ by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett http://buff.ly/1cvyeQU
‘Golden Domes’ Picture Book Causes Stir at Scholastic Book Fair | School Library Journal http://buff.ly/1iMIJRp
KidLitCon Celebrates Seventh Year in Texas http://buff.ly/1iHwBkP
The Magic of Children’s Books | Adele Parks http://buff.ly/1cHre3r
Sandra Boynton – New drawing. Just another example of why I’m known for my gritty and unflinching realism. pic.twitter.com/XQ28LEfCMR
Three steam-powered children’s books about trains – The Washington Post http://buff.ly/1iNeKce
Why Picture Books Are Important by Bobbi Miller http://buff.ly/1aY9hyn
America’s Star Libraries, 2013: Top-Rated Libraries http://buff.ly/1cvPiq2
Public Libraries Make Digital Magazines Accessible to All | Mediashift | PBS http://buff.ly/1aYk9w2
A Traveling Library Of Sketchbooks Sent From Creatives Around The World http://buff.ly/1cvXPsT
Do You Repeat Yourself On Social Media? http://buff.ly/1aYdIsU
Mary Shelley’s Handwritten Manuscripts of Frankenstein Now Online for the First Time | Open Culture http://buff.ly/1aYdLVL
Teachers: 5 Reasons Why I Think YOU Should Join Twitter! | Daydream Reader http://buff.ly/1iMNLxg
Book doctor: Further boy’s adventures for a teenage reader | Children’s books http://buff.ly/1iHrW26
Let’s go to the movies! – The Horn Book http://buff.ly/1cSWDjw
Interview: Terry Pratchett, Author Of ‘The Carpet People’ : NPR http://buff.ly/1iHrUaH
Marvel introduces Muslim superhero in ‘Ms. Marvel #1’ | PopWatch http://buff.ly/1iNfrlF
What is the best YA novel of all time? Round one | PopWatch http://buff.ly/1hhAmSr
Join in voting on the 2013 Opening Round to select the Best Picture Book on GoodReads. The first round of voting runs through November 9th. Here are the 15 nominees:
Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex
Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Litchtenheld
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Journey by Aaron Becker
A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne
Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier
That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea