When the Moon Forgot

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Overview

One night the moon never rises...

A lonely boy finds the fallen moon in a field. He takes it home and cares for it, slowly helping it heal. They become inseparable companions, exploring the world together both day and night. But when the world needs the moon to remember its place in the sky, the boy must help it find its way back home.

This is an unforgettable tale of an unusual friendship by world-renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao. Gorgeous, ...

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Overview

One night the moon never rises...

A lonely boy finds the fallen moon in a field. He takes it home and cares for it, slowly helping it heal. They become inseparable companions, exploring the world together both day and night. But when the world needs the moon to remember its place in the sky, the boy must help it find its way back home.

This is an unforgettable tale of an unusual friendship by world-renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao. Gorgeous, evocative illustrations tell an imaginative story of love and courage; the world will never forget the time when the moon forgot.

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Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
…mysterious, bittersweet…gorgeously and whimsically illustrated
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

A boy discovers a fallen moon in this melancholy, small-format book. After the moon disappears from the sky, factories begin to mass-produce "truckloads of smiling moons," which are used in all sorts of ways: in one spread, a blue-haired girl waters her moon, a boy spins two on his fingers and a dog wraps his mouth around another. But while the boy and the "real" moon become constant companions, the others are eventually discarded ("People don't seem to love their moons anymore"). Liao's spreads alternately convey cheerfulness, loneliness and desperation, and they are filled with haunting imagery (giant animals, such as a lumbering blue owl peering from an alley, make regular appearances, and the incessantly smiling manufactured moons are unsettling). In the end, the boy, having helped the moon remember itself and its origins, rides it through stormy clouds and into a starry sky, and "from then on the boy's dreams are always filled with moonlight." A congruent message doesn't fully materialize, but readers should be entranced by Liao's (The Blue Stone) fanciful, surreal illustrations. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Like Liao's other picture books, this is lengthy, 80 pages, and unusual, with minimal text and perplexing messages to ponder. It begins with three textless double pages. On them we see a young boy finding a small ball with a face. He carries it away, observed by an enormous rabbit. The text then tells of the night the moon never rises, with terrible consequences to the world. Factories produce smiling full moons to light the world. Meanwhile the boy cares for the ball, his moon. They have adventures together while the rest of the world tires of the other moons and trashes them. The boy dresses in an animal costume and takes his moon on a journey until it remembers where it comes from. One night in a storm the boy and moon rise into the sky. "From then on the boy's dreams are always filled with moonlight." The paper jacket shows the boy in costume up a tree with the yellow moon in the sky above. The cover has no words, but depicts the boy on a bright day in a clearing in the woods, the white moon beside him. Their relationship, or friendship, dominates the tale but has no rational explanation. The thin line and watercolor illustrations have a delicacy; the images are naturalistic. Readers will have to find their own interpretations. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—This allegorical tale of a boy who finds and befriends a fallen moon and then helps it find its way back home warrants repeated readings. The threads of the story depend squarely on the black line and watercolor illustrations for interpretation. When the moon inexplicably plummets into a pond, the normal lunar cycles stop. Factories respond to this crisis by manufacturing shining full moons for everyone. Meanwhile, the boy takes the real moon home, and they develop a close friendship. Eventually the world's artificial moons grow dim and useless, and the boy knows he must persuade the real one to resume its rightful place in the Earth's orbit. Juxtaposing day and night, shadow and light in glowing shades of blue, green, and yellow, page spreads, some of them stunning, vary in design and contrast busily detailed urban street scenes with restful natural landscapes. Giant woodland animals, mysteriously lurking in the shadows of city or forest, punctuate the dreamlike nature of the story. Liao's fans will find plenty of his trademark imagery, inventiveness, and meditative musings in this offering.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316113908
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 773,944
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jimmy Liao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and received a degree in design from the Chinese Culture University. He is the author and illustrator of over 25 hugely popular books that have been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. His first book for Little, Brown, The Sound of Colors, was published March 2006, and his second, The Blue Stone, in April 2008.

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