From the Publisher
"When Possum sees 'the biggest, brightest, yellowest' moon shining down one autumn night, he decorates the grass with lanterns and berries and heads out to invite the mice, the crickets, Raccoon, Rabbit, and other friends to his 'Harvest Soiree.' This story is suffused with both the excitement and the contentment awakened at the sight of a full, luminous autumn moon." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A huge, yellow harvest moon puts Possum in a celebratory mood. But after he festoons the grass with lanterns and berries, his plans for an impromptu bash seem to be dashed when the usual nightlife crowd turns into party poopers. The crickets are all sung out from the long summer, and Raccoon is focused on getting in shape for winter ("So much to eat, so little time"). However, as the ripe golden moon rises higher, Possum's friends succumb to its spell and the meadow begins to hum and dance. Somewhat reminiscent of Fred Marcellino's work, debut author/artist Hunter's moonlit illustrations will entice bedtime readers. Echoing the texture of Possum's coarse, bristly hair, pen-and-ink scratchings animate the soft palette. A merry illumination of the moon-glowing, green-growing, bug-buzzing profusion of a seasonal last hurrah. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
It's that time of year - the Harvest Moon is ripe, and Possum is stirred by a longing to celebrate. It's time for "A Harvest Soiree!" And off goes Possum to invite everyone to the festivities. Trouble is, everyone's otherwise occupied-the crickets are too cold, the raccoon has to eat, the frogs have to go underground, and so on. It's the great moon itself, rising higher and higher in the sky that finally beckons all the animals. In the end, Possum has a Soiree that is highly satisfying to him and his friends, but also to a young and sleepy child listening to this cozy little read-aloud tale.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2One autumn evening, Possum looks up and sees the biggest, brightest harvest moon ever. He decides to have one last party before the long winter and invites all of his friends. But the mice, raccoon, crickets, and frogs are all busy getting ready for winter, and it looks as if no one will come. Possum sits by himself in the clearing until everyone realizes it is not a night or a moon to waste without dancing and feasting, and they all join the celebration. Appealing illustrations are done in watercolors and pen-and-ink with subdued autumn and night hues of green, brown, black, and orange. The pictures depict the creatures of the meadow in soft detail, enjoying the moonlight with tiny party hats perched on their heads. The book will be excellent for story times on what animals do during the winter, paired, for example, with Lydia Dabcovich's Sleepy Bear (Dutton, 1982), Leo Lionni's Frederick (Knopf, 1967), and Jack Kent's Round Robin (S & S, 1989). A sensational selection, regardless of the seasonJudith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Possum wakes up one autumn evening and sees the biggest moon evera moon that calls for a pre-hibernation celebration. Off he goes, looking for guests. But the mice are too busy storing food for the winter, the crickets too are tired after chirping all summer, the raccoon still has fish to eat before he can rest, the fireflies are silent. Possum celebrates alone. Then, as the moon rises higher in the sky, all of the other creatures fall under its spell; from all corners of the field, they hurry to Possum's place for a harvest soiree before "winter's long sleep."
Hunter's first book is a sturdy piece of work, with crisp writing that is full of scratchy alliterations ("Raccoon rousted his crony, Rabbit"). The watercolor illustrations, done in a dark, woodsy palette, are covered with cross-hatching that swells every object with dimensionality. The animals sit inside the page borders like toys inside a box; these diorama-like nighttime scenes, with a huge harvest moon hovering above the horizon, have a hushed mystery that enhances the charms of the text.