This saccharine story awkwardly attempts to explain the changing appearance of the moon. Miss Mavis Sugar, a cat, is a talented baker. She creates a mooncake, adding to it slice by slice for 14 days until it is done (a full moon), and then invites her friends to "gobble it up in smiling bites" for the next two weeks until it is gone and she bakes it again. The tale starts slowly by listing page after page of desserts. The fable is unclear, and the lackluster text, which rhymes most of the time but abruptly stops at others, features overly cute phrases such as "deliciously delicious." The meter is often uneven, and while the author includes a refrain, children are likely to have lost interest long before it appears. The collage artwork, on the other hand, is a delight, and the full-bleed illustrations are filled with motion and detail. With beautiful use of color and texture, Hosta creates a cast of appealing animals and atmospheric moonlit nights. Watch for more from this artist, but pass on this uneven and plotless story.
Amy Lilien-HarperCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Hosta's latest is an imaginative feast about the moon and its many phases. Miss Mavis Sugar is a striped orange cat who loves to cook. She makes all sorts of sweet treats that her friends love to share, but her specialty is mooncake. For 14 days, she makes just one slice per night until the cake (the full moon) is finally done. Then her friends gather 'round to help eat the cake, one slice at a time, for another 14 days. "Mooncake, mooncake is so nice. / Yes, go ahead and eat a slice!" By the end, all the friends are asleep in their beds under a dark, new-moon sky. A final page labels the nine phases of the moon and lists some interesting facts. Repetitive refrains will have youngsters joining in, but the rhymes may be lost as a result of the text's formatting. There is a folksy, quilt-like feel to Hosta's collage illustrations. She combines dark backgrounds with bright foreground details, creating pictures that pop off the pages. The gentle cats and forest animals celebrating the moon may be just the ticket to dreamland-if one doesn't mind the sugar. (Picture book. 3-7)