This mashup of the ordinary and the far-out, of a little neighborhood and a giant, glowing orb from outer space, thrills.

MOONDAY

The moon follows a girl home, takes up residence in her yard and stays put—keeping the sun from rising and the town stuck in a drowsy stupor. Enchanting language and a jaw-dropping premise place readers under a similar somnolent spell.

Gentle rhymes, recurring consonance and almost subliminal rhythms make murky, dreamy paintings vivid and the surreal story sleepily spectacular. Who wouldn’t close their eyes and rock to these soothing lines, as startlingly brilliant as moonlight? “That was when the tide came in. / It trickled in to our backyard. The tide came in, smooth and thin, / and settled underneath our moon.” Their moon, cratered, full and luminous, hovers low just off the back porch; the girl walks its circumference and asks from upside down, “What now?” When teachers nod off and punk bands sing lullabies, the moon’s family decides to drive back up the mountain, where they first picked up their round friend, in the hope it will follow. Children familiar with soporific car trips will appreciate these commonplace scenes that frame such a fantastical story. Straightforward illustrations and traditional sepia, aerial renderings of the town make this fantastical lunar story all the more wondrous.

This mashup of the ordinary and the far-out, of a little neighborhood and a giant, glowing orb from outer space, thrills. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1920-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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