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You take the moon for a ride.
You take the moon for a ride.
Adam Rex creates a fantastic tale that is both imaginative and beautiful; one that blurs the line between dreams and reality.
On a night when "the moon hung full and low and touched the tips of the trees," the unnamed narrator (a little girl with a blue jacket and brown pigtails) falls asleep on a car trip home, only to wake up the next morning to find the moon hovering in her backyard. The sun never comes up that day, leading to a town full of dazed and sleepy neighbors. The narrator and her family soon find that having the moon in their backyard is more trouble than it's worth, flooding the backyard when it brings the tide in and causing all the neighborhood dogs to coming howling, so they go for another drive, taking the moon in the window, and tell it to stay at the top of the hill. This fantasy interlude is perfect for a bedtime story, with mood more important than logic, and the narration is appropriately ethereal and evocative ("I looked through my heavy lashes, through the window, through lean trees to see my blue moon staring back at me"). The sometimes-rhyming text is lavish in its simplicity, and Rex's paintings hit the same tone with their impressionistic brushwork and fine attention to detail. Interior scenes are rich with warm colors, which are particularly cozy when they're juxtaposed against the ink-black background with white text, while outdoor scenes center the bright moon, using contrast and temporality to heighten the book's mysticism, like a scene in which the narrator is shown in multiple places on the surface of the moon at once to suggest her initial exploration of the moon's landing. Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon (BCCB 3/04) might be a more concrete lunar nighttime selection, but the approach here is attractive, and kids will enjoy falling asleep to this imaginative fantasy. TA—BCCB
K-Gr 2 Many children looking out a car window have thought that the Moon was following them. This luminous fable starts out by drawing on that familiar experience, but when this girl wakes up the next day, there is no morning just the Moon, "Lower and larger. And very nearly on the ground. It was in our backyard." The spare poetic text, combined with illustrations in dark and vibrant jewel tones, makes each page turn carry a contemplative weight. In darkness, people stumble and yawn through their days. The child walks home from school through a surreal nighttime landscape where people doze at stoplights and sleepwalk through their hobbies. Eventually, the narrator and her parents drive the Moon out to the top of a hill where the youngster tells it to "Stay." And it does. Its glow seems to leap off the page, eerie and pervasive compared to the warm but limited glow of electric lights. Because the adults' reactions are mundane, the story inhabits that magical territory that exists for young children who haven't yet figured the world out. Anything truly is possible. Children will love this tribute to their imaginings, and adults will appreciate the reminder that until you are taught otherwise, the Moon really can follow you all the way home. Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MN—SLJ
As a girl and her parents drive home from a nearby hill, they watch the big, beautiful moon, which seems to follow them home. In the morning, they awaken to find the moon, slightly smaller than their house, floating balloon-like in their backyard. Though the girl goes to school, day never dawns. Teachers and townsfolk yawn. After school, the girl and her parents watch as tidal waters, drawn by the moon, seep into their yard. They hatch a plan to return the moon to the sky. Dreamlike, this picture book skates on thin ice with its mixture of fantasy and reality. Some narrative elements, such as the mother's gently amusing final comment, strengthen the story, while others seem a bit contrived. Still, the image of the luminous moon, which feels close enough to touch and small enough for a child to explore, is well worth seeing. A drowsy, rather surreal bedtime story. - Carolyn Phelan—Booklist
The moon follows a girl home, takes up residence in her yard and stays put-keeping the sun from rising and the town stuck in a drowsy stupor. Enchanting language and a jaw-dropping premise place readers under a similar somnolent spell. Gentle rhymes, recurring consonance and almost subliminal rhythms make murky, dreamy paintings vivid and the surreal story sleepily spectacular. Who wouldn't close their eyes and rock to these soothing lines, as startlingly brilliant as moonlight? "That was when the tide came in. / It trickled in to our backyard. The tide came in, smooth and thin, / and settled underneath our moon." Their moon, cratered, full and luminous, hovers low just off the back porch; the girl walks its circumference and asks from upside down, "What now?" When teachers nod off and punk bands sing lullabies, the moon's family decides to drive back up the mountain, where they first picked up their round friend, in the hope it will follow. Children familiar with soporific car trips will appreciate these commonplace scenes that frame such a fantastical story. Straightforward illustrations and traditional sepia, aerial renderings of the town make this fantastical lunar story all the more wondrous. This mashup of the ordinary and the far-out, of a little neighborhood and a giant, glowing orb from outer space, thrills. (Picture book. 3-6)—Kirkus