Moonpowder

Overview


Young Eli Trebuckle is the "fixer of all things fixable." He fixes the vacuum cleaner, the fan, and even the radio, hoping to catch some news of his father who is away at war. But there's one thing that Eli simply can't fix-his bad dreams. It's the same one over and over again: a mountain of junk, a prize just beyond his reach, and a fall.

One night as Eli stays up late to work on his most recent invention and escape another nightmare, a mysterious, luminous, and somewhat ...

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Overview


Young Eli Trebuckle is the "fixer of all things fixable." He fixes the vacuum cleaner, the fan, and even the radio, hoping to catch some news of his father who is away at war. But there's one thing that Eli simply can't fix-his bad dreams. It's the same one over and over again: a mountain of junk, a prize just beyond his reach, and a fall.

One night as Eli stays up late to work on his most recent invention and escape another nightmare, a mysterious, luminous, and somewhat bumbling man by the name of Mr. Moon appears at his window. He knows just what the matter with Eli is and promises to help him, if he can fix one more thing

And so Eli Trebuckle makes the journey to the broken Moonpowder factory. If he can get it up and running, he can ensure that the whole world will have sweet dreams! But can Eli face his greatest fears and meet the biggest challenge of his lifetime? With inspiring courage, determination, and a little faith, Eli proves that, happily, the answer is yes.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Because he has nightmares, young Eli does not want to go to sleep. While tinkering with one of his inventions, Eli is confronted by a luminous character named Mr. Moon, who tells him he needs magic Moonpowder to have sweet dreams. Unfortunately the Moonpowder factory is not functioning. Mr. Moon invites Eli to fly in a helio-rocket-copter just like his invention to the factory to try to fix it. There Eli bravely ventures into Mother Nature's closet to get the Special Emergency Dream Kit needed to restart the factory. Although it is just like his dreadful nightmare, Eli manages to retrieve the box. The end of the story is happy but unexpected. Rocco has painted a fantasy that combines some naturalistic settings with inventions; a bigheaded, smiling Mr. Moon; and a range of convincing possibilities. Eli is an appealing, chubby-faced youngster dressed in an aviator's helmet and striped shirt. His adventures are visualized in richly detailed small, large, and double-page scenes of top drawer realistic science fiction. We are eager to join Eli in his quest for sweet dreams. From the drawer full of tools, baseball gloves, and other items from the dedication page on, Rocco creates this possibly dreamlike fantasy with skillful attention to believability. The ending is foreshadowed on the page with a photo of the uniformed man on whose shoulders Eli is riding on the last page. The dedication "to the children of soldiers everywhere" adds another dimension to the story. Each reading offers something new to ponder. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- Eli Treebuckle is a tinkerer, a "fix-it" boy whose father is away at war. He never has "sweet dreams," and his nightmares keep him awake working on fantastical inventions. One sleepless night, an avuncular, W.C. Fields-faced Mr. Moon drops by and invites Eli to come fix the Moonpowder Factory, the source of pleasant dreams. The floating factory is filled with retro robots and huge machinery. Eli, with the help of Mr. Moon and Giz the robot, gets into and under the machines until he discovers the empty dream tank that is causing his problems. The only fix entails Eli finding a box with the last pinch of moonpowder and dreaming sweet dreams to refill the tank. A harrowing visit to Mother Nature's closet, heaped willy-nilly with containers full of weather, produces the box. But an exhausted Eli doesn't need the powder as he slips into sleep and sweet dreams, awakening in his own bed and to a joyous reunion with his father. Steeped in dreamy sepia tones suffused with golden light and brightened by unexpected patches of electric blue, the illustrations are lush and painterly. Using spreads combined with comic-style panels, Rocco creates a hint of a graphic novel for the youngest readers. This original fantasy melds high adventure with a retro 1940s look in a long narrative perfect for older preschoolers and early elementary children. Readers will linger over the pictures and cheer for the businesslike but heroic Eli, who discovers that sometimes things can just fix themselves.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Rocco crafts a set of copper-colored retro dreamscapes for this tale of a lad who shakes off his own recurrent nightmare by repairing the celestial machinery that creates sweet dreams-or rather, the titular powder that produces them. Clad in pajamas and a leather pilot's cap, young Eli leaves his bedroom, flying into the night sky with the importunate Moon aboard a "helio-rocket-copter" of his own design. Having checked huge, geared wheels, riveted tanks and antique gauges, he ventures at last into Mother Nature's jumbled closet for a pinch of Moonpowder to prime the empty pump, then wakes in the morning after a soaring dream to greet his uniformed father stepping off the bus. Partly related in wordless panels reminiscent of David Wiesner's stories, this offering will draw fans of other elaborately illustrated Moon tales such as Lynda Gene Rymond's Oscar and the Mooncats (2007) and Dean Morrissey and Stephen Krensky's Crimson Comet (2006). In keeping with its closing images of Eli's returning dad, it is topically enough dedicated "to the children of soldiers everywhere." (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423100119
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


John Rocco is the author and illustrator of Wolf! Wolf! and the illustrator of Alice, by Whoopi Goldberg. He earned his degrees from RISD and The School of the Visual Arts and worked for several years in L.A on such projects as Shrek (as Pre-Production Art Director) and at the Disneyquest theme park. He was the winner of the SCBWI New York Showcase in 2004 and again in 2007. John now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
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