Beautiful Moon: A Child's Prayer

Beautiful Moon: A Child's Prayer

5.0 1
by Tonya Bolden, Eric Velasquez
     
 

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A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

Critically acclaimed author Tonya Bolden teams up with award‑winning

Overview

A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

Critically acclaimed author Tonya Bolden teams up with award‑winning illustrator Eric Velasquez to create a richly painted and emotionally complex book that celebrates prayer and kindness while recognizing the diversity of the world around us.

 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/18/2014
Bolden (Maritcha: A 19th Century American Girl) expands a pleasingly simple premise into a depiction of the profound possibility of prayer. It’s night. An “amber orb”—the moon—floats above the city, and a boy startles awake in bed, having forgotten to say his nightly prayers. Velasquez (My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart) shows the subjects of the boy’s prayers—“people with no homes,” the hungry, the lonely, “for wars to end.” His prayers move from his outer circle of concern to his inner, as the boy includes his parents, “Grandma Grace,” “Mikey, his turtle,” and his wish for his teacher “to read a story every day.” Velasquez’s illustrations, done in mixed media and oil on watercolor paper, convey mostly urban scenes in dark blues and browns, each illuminated by moonlight, which are both peaceful and full of detail. The book offers young readers plenty to look at, along with a simple message about the way prayer unites everyone, as the multicultural subjects in Velasquez’s gorgeous illustrations make clear. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content LLC. (Nov.)
Booklist - Ilene Cooper

"A good starting place for discussion, this will give youngsters a sense of those in need as well as what’s worth praying for."
School Library Journal
10/01/2014
K-Gr 2—On a summer night, a full golden moon lights up the busy dark city streets and inspires the prayers of a boy who scrambles out of bed to kneel for the ritual he had forgotten. One by one, readers are shown four city scenes in which the moon shines over people oblivious to its beauty: a homeless woman huddling for warmth on a bench, a man on a commuter train thinking of his soldier daughter far away, an elderly man in his hospital room, and two "sad souls staring at bare kitchen cabinets." The child prays in turn "for people with no home…for wars to end…for the sick to be healed…for people, little and big, to have the food they need." Having covered these larger social needs, he moves on to more personal concerns, praying for family members, his turtle," for his teacher to read a story every day." Velasquez's double-page scenes are painted in dark tones with early light on the faraway armed soldiers and their helicopter and brighter warm tones in the foreground of the soup kitchen. The simple narrative, which juxtaposes social concerns with prayer lines attributed to the "little boy," seems most likely to resonate with adults. The tone of the youngster's personal prayers and the concluding view of him tucked back into bed are more childlike. The diverse people sharing the night, the realistic dilemmas of the people in need, and the handsome presentation should serve well as bedtime reading for families practicing daily prayer.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-03
A young boy's prayer brings home to readers all the people who need prayers in our world. Over a busy, rushing, noisy city, "The amber orb floats, / washing the night / with a radiant glow." A small black boy spies it when he hops out of bed to say his forgotten prayers, and underneath its beauty, he prays for the homeless, for an end to wars, for the sick and the hungry, and for those closest to him. Juxtaposed with the portrait of this young innocent kneeling at his bedside, the spreads that follow are stark: a woman bundled on a park bench, her belongings next to her; a man on a commuter train thinking of his faraway soldier daughter; a man in a hospital bed wishing for sleep to come; a couple searching bare cupboards and a line at a soup kitchen. Bolden and Velasquez hint at an equation between God's watchfulness and care with the light of the moon; in each of these mixed-media-and-oil scenes, the harvest moon shines down on all the diversity of the world and its many problems, and when the boy is snuggled back in bed, "the beautiful moon goes on its way."Prayer may seem like something from ancient history for many young children; this beautiful book brings prayer to the modern world and hauntingly shows just how needed it is. (Picture book/religious. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781419707926
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
11/04/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
420,389
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Tonya Bolden has written a number of books for children and adults. Her work has garnered many accolades, including the Coretta Scott King Honor Award, James Madison Book Award, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, YALSA Best Book of the Year, and CCBC Best Book of the Year. She lives in New York City.
Eric Velasquez is the illustrator of numerous books for children. He received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award and won the Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration. He lives in Hartsdale, New York.

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Beautiful Moon: A Child's Prayer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
When you go to bed each evening, for whom do you pray?  It is the middle of the night in the city with a bright moon shining down.  A little boy wakes up, scrambles out of his bed, and drops to his knees because he forgot to say his prayers.  Just before he prays, he sees the beautiful moon out of his window.   He prays for the homeless, the soldiers, the sick, and the hungry, and also for Grandma Grace, Mommy, Daddy, his baby sister Sydney, his turtle Mikey, and his teacher, while the beautiful moon goes on its way.  What do you think that he promises not to do tomorrow night?       This is a cute book.  Now, if I wanted to be picky, I could note that while this little boy prays, nowhere does the text say to whom (or what) he prays.  He could be praying to God, to Allah, to Buddha, or even to the moon which he sees.  Perhaps Bolden left it that way to make the book “inclusive.”  One reviewer praised the book for recognizing the diversity of the world around us, although I suspect that this has reference primarily to the multicultural subjects in Velasquez's life-like illustrations.  Of course, those of us who are Bible believers would naturally assume that he is praying to God, and Christian or Jewish parents can easily make this clear in reading the book to their children.      With this understanding, I will have to say that any book which celebrates prayer and encourages being concerned about others less fortunate than we are is to be commended.  Award¿winning author Tonya Bolden has written a number of books for children and adults which have gained her many honors.   Acclaimed illustrator Eric Velasquez, who has also won several awards for his illustrations in numerous books for children, made the drawings for Beautiful Moon in mixed media and oil on watercolor paper. The two team up to create an emotionally satisfying and richly painted book which offers an easily understood message about how important prayer can be in people’s lives.