Have you ever stopped to consider what might be revealed in one spot over one year by twelve unique and exquisite full moons?
Publishers WeeklyRylant'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 LiteratureThe 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 ReviewsRylant 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)
- 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
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