Published by Scholastic Press on October 19, 2021
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Have you ever seen the moon on a clear blue day and wondered why?
There once was a time when the sun alone ruled the day, the moon graced the night, and little children were sent to bed before sunset. Then early one dawn, the moon heard sounds of children laughing, and she yearned to see them by daylight.
"Certainly not!" snapped the sun. "The day is mine. The night is yours!"
But the moon had a clever plan...
Carmen Agra Deedy and Jim LaMarche have brilliantly crafted an original pourquoi tale about finding one's place in the universe.
My son is enamored with the moon. Last winter, we lived with my parents for a few months while preparing for an international move and every night, my son and my dad would traipse out into the lawn so that my son could point out the moon. Then we moved to the UK where, in the summer, the sun doesn’t set until well after bedtime, and sadness abounded. Now that fall is returning, the moon is making its presence felt and that’s the story in The Children’s Moon.
Carmen Agra Deedy’s narrative follows the Moon, who is sad because she only ever gets to see children at sleep. She wants so badly to come out in the day and see the children at play, but the Sun won’t allow it. Sun isn’t a bad, exactly, just a rules-follower. And the rules say…
The next few panels are spent with the Sun describing day and the Moon describing night. Jim LaMarche’s stunning visuals bring Deedy’s words to life, painting a day full of beautiful yellows and oranges and a night of deep blues and purples. The Sun and Moon are given humanoid faces, more lifelike than cartoonish, adding a sense of whimsical realism to the scene.
Finally, the Sun agrees to let the Moon see the day, so long as the Sun is allowed to see the night. With their bargain set, the two live happily. And that is why, when she appears by day, the Moon is called The Children’s Moon.
This would likely be a better tale if the term “children’s moon” were better known. As is, it’s answering a question about a term that nobody is really asking. Despite that, the story itself is strong. The visuals are incredible. There’s enough substance that teachers could use this book as a teaching tool (and there are two pages of moon facts on the last pages to facilitate that!). It’s a fun, beautifully-rendered, lovingly-crafted book sure to enchant and enthrall.