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Long Night Moon

Long Night Moon

3.0 3
by Cynthia Rylant, Mark Siegel (Illustrator)

Have you ever stopped to consider what might be revealed in one spot over one year by twelve unique and exquisite full moons?


Have you ever stopped to consider what might be revealed in one spot over one year by twelve unique and exquisite full moons?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rylant's (When I Was Young in the Mountains) lilting prose-poetry, with sometimes only a few words per page, introduces the traditional Native American name for each month's full moon: "In April/ the Sprouting Grass Moon brings/ all wanderers back home./ Baby birds love this moon./ It lights their tiny heads." In a dramatic departure from his boisterous Seadogs, Siegel uses charcoal, pencil and pastels in full-bleed spreads that present the full moon as at times haunting, and at other times a large, joyful night-lamp, showering fields and forest in transluscent light. Siegel introduces human characters on the half-title page (a mother and child), seen only in silhouette. The spreads follow a single rural landscape around 360 degrees of the horizon, with the moon rising at a different compass point every month. June's Strawberry Moon bathes the landscape in a soft pink halo, August's Harvest Moon in lavender. The garden of a small house gives way to an overgrown pasture, a plowed field, a barn and a silo and, in December, back to the garden again. There, the same mother who stood outside with her baby admiring January's Stormy Moon stands there again, at year's end, looking at December's Long Night Moon, her baby visibly larger. Like a lullaby, this album of full moons offers gentle comfort at bedtime. Ages 3-6. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The Native American practice of giving names to the year's cycle of full moons ("Each month had a moon./And each moon had its name") is the inspiration for Rylant and Siegel's beautiful collaborative homage to the full moon in all its moods and majesty. January's Stormy Moon "shines in mist,/ in ice,/on a wild wolf's back. . . Find it/ and find your way home." February's Snow Moon misses "its sister, the Sun." March's Sap Moon "tells a promise/and a hope." And so on through the year, until December's Long Night Moon "waits/and/waits/and waits/for morning. . . This is the faithful moon. This moon is your friend." Siegel's haunting charcoal renderings of each moon perfectly match Rylant's spare, lyrical text. As Siegel writes, in a fascinating illustrator's note describing his search, through many moonlit walks, for the right artistic medium, his use of charcoal captures "that velvety mysterious light that softens everything, bathing nature in a dreamy luminosity." This is a book that will send children and parents out on magical nighttime rambles to share the silent enchantment that Rylant and Siegel celebrate here. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Ages 3 to 6.
—Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
Rylant takes the evocative trope of the First Peoples' naming of the full moons of the year and turns it into a quiet meditation on time and nature. Siegel is just in tune with her words, his charcoal, pencil and pastel drawings fill the pages with shadows, each lit by a brilliant full moon. He pans around a rural setting: a gazebo with a mother and child, a house with a single bright window, huge old trees, fields, fence, road. Month by month, readers see moonlight picking out a particular thing: skunks' white stripes or the tips of new grasses. These lovely images echo Rylant's gentle prose: "In April / the Sprouting Grass Moon brings / all wanderers back home. / Baby birds love this moon. / It lights their tiny heads." In each spread, while Siegel evokes landscape and fauna in deep blues, grays, black and brown, the moon looms with an unearthly glow. The Long Night Moon is December's: "The faithful moon. / This one is your friend," whispers the mother into the hair of her babe, as they stand in the gazebo wrapped in woolies and stars once again. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Visit her at CynthiaRylant.com.

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Long Night Moon 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a remarkable achievement. Rylant's simple yet moving and profound poems capture the magic and wonder of the night-time, and they have been further brought to life - and to light, amazingly so, in a rich diversity of luminous grays, blues, purples - by the illustrator. Reading it with my five-year-old niece, who has often been afraid alone at night, was truly delightful: Long Night Moon brings out the richness, softness and intimacy of the nocturnal environment, in a way that a child finds reassuring. The journey of the seasons is shown in snapshots, panning along a 360° view of the same landscape, bringing us back, at December's Long Night Moon, to the homey scene of the beginning. It gives a feeling of completeness and harmony, one more of the very successful uses of symbolism and imagery by this author/illustrator pair who were very fortunate to find one another. I've recommended this book to several friends, who told me it also gave them very pleasant reading experiences with the children in their life.