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Bringing Down the Moon

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"Tender and delicate. . . . A sweet lesson in not getting what you want, yet getting what you need." — Kirkus Reviews

Mole thinks the moon is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, and he wants to have it for his own. But as his friends Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Squirrel remind him, some things are not as simple — or as close — as they look! A lyrical text and cozy woodland illustrations portray this mole on a mission with gentle humor and ...

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Overview

"Tender and delicate. . . . A sweet lesson in not getting what you want, yet getting what you need." — Kirkus Reviews

Mole thinks the moon is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, and he wants to have it for his own. But as his friends Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Squirrel remind him, some things are not as simple — or as close — as they look! A lyrical text and cozy woodland illustrations portray this mole on a mission with gentle humor and charm.

Mole is so taken with the beauty of the moon that he tries to get it from the sky, but eventually learns to appreciate it where it is.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Hot diggety!" exclaims plump Mole when he sees the full moon for what is apparently the first time. And indeed, the moon is at its most fetching, glowing in the cobalt-blue night sky "like a bright silver coin." Mole spends the balance of the book engaged in sweetly comic attempts to pry the moon out of the sky. His woodland pals try to warn him off the plan, each one pointing out, "It's not as close as it looks." But that doesn't stop Mole from trying to leap for it, poke it, knock it down with acorns or simply grab it from a high tree branch. Finally, it dawns on him: the moon's beauty lies in the fact that everyone can enjoy it (and besides, Mole now notes sagely, "It's NOT as close as it looks!"). Author and artist seem ideally paired for this well-traveled but sweet tale. In Emmett's unadorned, gentle prose, Mole never seems the least bit avaricious he's just genuinely enchanted by the moon's ethereal beauty. As was true in her Down in the Woods at Sleepytime, Cabban's creatures radiate genuine affection for one another. Keeping the detailing in her settings to a minimum there's just enough to provide a proper stage for Mole's pratfalls Cabban lets the luminescence of the sky and moon hold center stage. It's easy to see why Mole is so thoroughly captivated. Ages 3-6. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Valerie O. Patterson
After Mole sees the moon and thinks it is the most beautiful thing in the world, he decides he must possess it. Capturing the moon, though, proves difficult as he discovers when he first tries to jump to the moon and then tries to poke it with a stick. A series of woodland creatures—a rabbit, a hedgehog, and a squirrel—remind Mole that some things "are not as simple—or as close—as they look." At last Mole believes he has succeeded but is crestfallen to realize that the moon he sees in the puddle may be "broken" because of his efforts to capture it. The ending is comforting, however, as the moon once again is back in the sky, and Mole and his friends admire it from afar. Soft illustrations add enchantment to this gentle bedtime story. Now available in a board book format. Reviewer: Valerie O. Patterson
Children's Literature
After Mole sees the moon and thinks it is the most beautiful thing in the world, he decides he must possess it. Capturing the moon, though, proves difficult as he discovers when he first tries to jump to the moon and then tries to poke it with a stick. A series of woodland creatures—a rabbit, a hedgehog, and a squirrel—remind Mole that some things "are not as simple—or as close—as they look." At last, Mole believes he has succeeded but is crestfallen to realize that the moon he sees in the puddle may be "broken" because of his efforts to capture it. The ending is comforting, however, as the moon once again is back in the sky, and Mole and his friends admire it from afar. Soft illustrations add enchantment to this gentle bedtime story. 2001, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Mole is mesmerized by the beauty of the full moon and tries to bring it down from the sky, but jumping up and down, swishing a stick, and throwing acorns fail to knock it from its place. Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Squirrel all shake their heads and tell Mole to give up: "It's not as close as it looks." But the little creature persists, climbing a tree to get closer. He falls from its limb into a puddle, where he sees the moon's reflection floating. But when he touches it, the moon breaks into pieces and disappears. Devastated, he thinks he has destroyed it forever. His friends point out that it is still up in the sky and Mole is joyous, finally ready to leave it in its place. Dark blue skies and a glowing moon exude peace and serenity in this sweet book. Preschoolers will sympathize with Mole's attempts and sigh with contentment when they realize he has not ruined the treasure. The onomatopoeia scattered throughout makes this an appealing read-aloud. A pleasant, quiet offering.-Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There is no denying the sleep-inducing qualities of Emmett's (Ten Little Monsters, not reviewed) bedtime tale, so tender and delicate it could be the Platonic ideal for gentleness, while Cabban's (Down in the Woods at Sleepy Time, 2000, etc.) illustrations add the softness of a night warmed by moonlight. The story concerns a young mole, who pokes from his hole one night to be dazzled by a full moon. Thinking he just must have it, he sets about trying to bring it down to him, first by jumping for it, then by poking at it with a stick, then by tossing acorns at it. With each attempt, he wakens a citizen of the forest: a rabbit, a hedgehog, and a squirrel. They agree with Mole that the moon is a sight, but caution that "it's not as close as it looks." Undeterred, Mole clambers up a tree, only to tumble down when he stretches too far. Lo, there's the moon right there on the ground next to him (in a puddle that is, though Mole doesn't know any more about puddles than he does about the moon). He reaches for it and it shatters and disappears. Mole is heartbroken, until Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Squirrel point up into the sky, where the moon shines on, glorious and gratifying as it ever was. A sweet lesson in not getting what you want, yet getting what you need. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781406307573
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 6/4/2007

Meet the Author

Jonathan Emmett intended to end this story with Mole building a tower to the moon, until his three-year-old son, Max, pointed out that it would be far easier for Mole to climb a tree instead. (Max also thinks that Mole would have gotten the moon—if only he had chosen a taller tree.) BRINGING DOWN THE MOON is Jonathan Emmett's first book with Candlewick Press.

Vanessa Cabban has written and illustrated several books for children, including BERTIE AND SMALL AND THE BRAVE SEA JOURNEY and and BERTIE AND SMALL AND THE FAST BIKE RIDE. She is also the illustrator of DOWN IN THE WOODS AT SLEEPYTIME by Carole Lexa Schaefer. She says, "Mole's story touched me because he takes on an enormous task and triumphs in his own way. I wanted him to be a role model we can all love and relate to."

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