Come Back, Moon

Overview

What happens when the moon goes missing? Find out in this poetic picture book from a Newbery Honoree and a two-time Caldecott Medalist.

The moon is full and bright in the sky. So full, and so bright, that Bear can’t sleep! So he steals the moon from the sky and hides it away. But the other animals miss the beautiful, glowing moon…and they set out to get it back in this tender story with luminous watercolor illustrations from a two-time ...

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Overview

What happens when the moon goes missing? Find out in this poetic picture book from a Newbery Honoree and a two-time Caldecott Medalist.

The moon is full and bright in the sky. So full, and so bright, that Bear can’t sleep! So he steals the moon from the sky and hides it away. But the other animals miss the beautiful, glowing moon…and they set out to get it back in this tender story with luminous watercolor illustrations from a two-time Caldecott Medalist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/23/2013
When a group of forest animals discovers that Bear has stolen the moon—he blames its bright light for his insomnia—they hatch a plan to get it back. As Crow lulls Bear to sleep with a story, Fox, the group’s leader, spots something glowing in Bear’s pillowcase. “Quickly, Fox and Crow grabbed the pillow bag and set the moon free,” writes Kherdian. “And all the animals cheered and danced under the light of the moon.” (Bear blissfully sleeps through it all.) Along with the elegant economy of its language and the quiet beauty of Hogrogian’s watercolors, which are gently textured with pencil, one of the most striking aspects of this ostensibly simple reverie of a story is how much its creators, a highly honored husband-and-wife team, trust readers. They don’t amplify the prose or pictures with visual signposts or adjectives to tell audiences what to feel (the late Elmore Leonard would have been proud). Instead, they let their spare, deeply resonant storytelling reveal the quiet, instinctive determination of the animals to set things right. The action is low-key, almost tableau-like, and never less than compelling. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
November 2013 Booklist
"Bear blames the moonlight for his sleepless nights, so he steals it, leaving the other animals with a sense of loss. The story builds as one by one the animals ask each other for information and ultimately seek out Owl. Their search for answers, and then the moon itself, is the perfect device for turning the page. The soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, many within their own frame, mirror the text’s gentleness. When the animals talk with one another, they move more freely on pages with a white background. The repetition of simple phrases encourages a young reader’s participation. Storytelling and dancing conclude the story, an inclusive and positive ending. Pair with Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (2004) for another moon celebration."
December 2013 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This simple, folkloric story will easily engage young audiences, and Kherdian’s restrained prose works well as both a group readaloud and as a read-alone for novice readers. . . it might especially work well as a beginning readers’ theater piece."
Library Media Connection
"With soft, comforting illustrations and repetitive, evocative text, this book reads like a modern version of Good Night Moon with words which could be repeated by a child, anthropomorphic animals, a clever mystery to solve, and a comforting ending. The story could be turned into a play, acted out by younger children. The image of the stolen moon glowing inside Bear's pillow is priceless. The animals practically dance off the page when the moon is set free. This is a story which will have primary students begging for repeat readings."
School Library Journal
* "The Moon looms large in children’s literature: Frank Asch, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, and countless others have paid homage to that fascinating round face in the night sky. In Come Back, Moon, Kherdian and Hogrogian have collaborated on an original story that has the simplicity and resonance of a folktale.... Hogrogian captures the character of each animal, mood, and scene with disarming expertise.... Kherdian is at his poetic best, gracing the tale with few, carefully chosen words. The artwork is beautifully balanced and radiates personality. The combination of great talent, elegant restraint, and exceptional creative decisions has produced a timeless book that will still be enjoyed by the great grandchildren of those who read it today."
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
When bright moonlight keeps Bear awake, he decides to steal the moon so that he can get some rest. Fox, Skunk, Opossum, Raccoon, and Crow all miss the moon, and as so often happens in stories of this sort, head off to consult wise old Owl about how to get it back. Owl reports having witnessed Bear’s theft, so the animal delegation now heads back to Bear’s camp. There clever Crow tells a story to get Bear to doze off so that they can grab back the moon, hidden in Bear’s pillowcase. The story ends with all the animals, except for Bear (now “happily sound asleep”), dancing under the light of the restored moon. The idea of moon-stealing is pleasingly preposterous: the loveliest picture in the book shows Bear sneaking away, carrying his patterned pillow case tied shut with a red bow, concealing a suspiciously round object glowing inside. But interest flags with repeated iterations of “Let’s ask Owl,” “Let’s ask Owl,” “Let’s ask Owl,” and Owl’s solving of the mystery requires no wisdom or cleverness, just his happening to have spied Bear committing his felonious act. The plan of telling stories as a surefire way to put someone to sleep seems poor testimony to the power and pleasure of storytelling: could one of the woodland creatures have offered a lullaby instead? Still, it is satisfying to see the rescued moon shining on the closing festivities, and who would not love a stolen moon tucked away in a pillow case?Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D. AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 7.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Poet and Newbery Honoree Kherdian (The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl, 1979) teams again with his wife, distinguished two-time Caldecott-winning illustrator and author Hogrogian, for this gentle animal fable (Lullaby for Emily, 1995, etc.). "Bear couldn't sleep and blamed the light of the moon." He steals it and stuffs it into his pillowcase. Other animals--Fox, Skunk, Opossum and Raccoon--miss the moon and speculate as to its whereabouts. Crow says to Fox, "You're the clever one. Where did it go?" Fox suggests asking wise Owl. Hogrogian's soft, muted watercolors, further grayed by pencil, depict the parade of woodland creatures en route to Owl's perch, trailing behind Fox's white-tipped tail. When Owl fingers Bear, Fox and Crow hatch a plan. Crow tells Bear a slumber-inducing story, then he and Fox snatch the pillowcase and release the moon. The happy ending reveals the animals dancing by moonlight while Bear sleeps contentedly on. Within plainspoken text and dialogue, Kherdian weaves a folkloric motif--the moon's theft and restoration--with child-resonant tropes: mistaken judgment, compelling curiosity and cooperation to right wrongs. Hogrogian subtly characterizes the animals' emotions and responses without anthropomorphizing them unduly. The keen tilt of Fox's head indicates acute observation, while Bear's heavy-lidded eyes and relaxed pose telegraph imminent napping. (Incidentally, only Bear's gender is conveyed, permitting diverse interpretations for the other creatures.) Charming. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442458871
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 539,015
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Poet David Kherdian received a Newbery Honor for The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl (1979). His wife, Nonny Hogrogian, is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, first for Always Room for One More (1966), and second for One Fine Day (1972). She also received a Caldecott Honor for The Contest (1974). They live in Florence, Massachusetts.

Nonny Hogrogian is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, first for Always Room for One More (1966), and second for One Fine Day (1972). She also received a Caldecott Honor for The Contest (1974). Her husband, poet David Kherdian, received a Newbery Honor for The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl (1979). They live in Florence, Massachusetts.

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