The summer is starting to wind down and Billy Whee is feeling a little glum. Soon there will be no more evenings out with his friends, hunting for lightning bugs in the orchard by the light of a silvered moon. There was something particularly magical about the nights when the moon was full, when he and his friends held mason jars of glowing lightning bugs and watched the moon transform their world. Now he lies in bed and watches the full moon, wishing he could capture that glowing ball so that he could have it to put in the sky whenever he wanted to. Then he reaches out of his bedroom window and though he knows that the moon is far away, miles and miles away in space, his arms stretch until he finds that he is holding the moon. It is in his arms and he is pulling it into his bedroom. Exhausted and triumphant Billy now has the moon in his bedroom. The question is, what is he supposed to do with it now that he has it? How do you hide something that is so big and round and bright? In this delightful and often funny tale of dreams coming true, the joys of childhood, and accepting that sometimes having what you want isn't quite what you thought it would be, the author has created something magical and charming. The adult reader is left with a feeling of warmth, understanding, and of "I remember when...." The child reader or listener begins to ask all sorts of questions about dreams, moons, and secrets. Best of all though, the child will say how glad he or she is that Billy did not keep the moon for himself. The soft and almost haunting watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are a perfect match for the tale and carry us through moonlit countryside and moon-washed rooms. 2001, Holiday House, Ages 4to 6.
K-Gr 2-This book is consistently pleasing visually, but the writing is less successful. In an attempt to hold onto fun before school begins, Billy temporarily captures the last full moon of summer. A slow buildup and some lazy language are offset by the marvelously tactile descriptions of moon manipulation. Himler's scenes in watercolor and gouache over pencil convey the enchantment with an array of blues and variations of moon glow, as well as unusual perspectives and poses. Older readers may appreciate the symbolism of holding onto a mood, but the younger set may be confused by the stark transition from realism to the dream state.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.