Night of the Moonjellies

Night of the Moonjellies

4.5 2
by Mark Shasha
     
 

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Seven-year-old Mark saves a jellyfish on the beach in the morning and helps all day at his grandmother's seaside refreshment stand. After closing, they go out in a fishing boat, and Mark pours out his jellyfish to join the thousands of moonjellies in the nighttime water.

Overview

Seven-year-old Mark saves a jellyfish on the beach in the morning and helps all day at his grandmother's seaside refreshment stand. After closing, they go out in a fishing boat, and Mark pours out his jellyfish to join the thousands of moonjellies in the nighttime water.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This beautifully illustrated picture book debut evokes the fullness of a New England childhood through descriptions of a single summer day. Seven-year-old Mark is helping at his grandmother's seaside hot dog stand, purveyor of ``the best lobster rolls in New England.'' He finds ``something that felt like jelly'' on the beach, but further investigation is postponed by the hubbub at the stand: ``Fries crackled. Cheeseburgers sizzled. `More rolls!' called Uncle Al. `Rushing through!' Gram said, carrying a kettle of clam chowder up front. `Low on straws!' Rollie shouted. I hurried to fill the box.'' When the busy day ends, Gram and Mark take a boat out to sea, where Mark sees an oceanful of shimmering white lights--moonjellies--and returns his to the water. The text offers a wide range of tones, from soothing to stimulating, but the book's greatest strength lies in its artwork. Shimmering blues and greens suggest the iridescence of the tranquil night sea; vibrant reds and oranges capture the harried humans. A strongly atmospheric work. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- On his way to help grandmother and relatives at a seaside hot dog stand, seven-year-old Mark stops on the beach to pick up a small jellylike substance that he places in a bag of seawater. A moonlight ride with Gram on a fishing boat takes them out on the ocean where thousands of moonjellies shimmer, and the boy slips his treasure back among them. Based on a childhood experience in New England, Shasha's narrative is full of small details that illuminate the story but don't impede it. His rich pastels combined with the text create a strong sense of place and time--the warmth of family relationships, the quiet companionship of the boy and his grandmother, the cheerful hard work and hustle-bustle of the concession stand, and the magic of the glowing sea. His use of light, shadows, and darkness in the luminous full-color double-page spreads invite readers right into the story. Unfortunately, neither the text nor the jacket notes identify exactly what a moonjelly is. Despite this omission, it's a strong debut. --Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI
Deborah Abbott
A nameless child finds a jellylike blob on the seashore and saves it in seawater. When he gets to his grandmother's seaside hot dog stand and shows her his treasure, she promises to explain about it later. All day long the family members work together to fix burgers, chowder, sodas, and lobster rolls for their hungry customers. Then the workers clean up and get ready for the next day. The boy and his grandmother jump aboard the boat "Periwinkle", with the jelly blob intact, and head out to sea. Gram tells the boy he has found a moonjelly (a kind of jellyfish), and the boy releases it into the sea to join hundreds of others. The water is ablaze with floating, glowing moonjellies. The rich, textured paintings are a splendid medium for this solid family story. The carnival atmosphere of the hot dog stand is nicely balanced with scenes of the boy and his grandmother enjoying the peaceful beauty of the nighttime sea. Warmth spreads from cover to cover in the deep colors and carefully painted images of the artist's brush.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671775650
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
08/01/1992
Pages:
1
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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