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RISE THE MOON by Eileen Spinelli


by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Raúl Colón

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2601-5
Publisher: Dial Books

A benevolent, beaming moon casts its golden glow across the pages, but questionable choices by both author and illustrator relegate this rather esoteric effort to the lesser designation of lovely mood piece. Readers are drawn along by the pull of a personified moon to observe its impact on creatures of earth, air, and sea, and on their creative forces and flows. Colón’s (Pandora, 2002, etc.) signature scratched-wash artwork is luminous, with light reflected and refracted through windows, wind-stirred waters, and wild environs. Each panel is a veritable homage of orbs, the moon motif repeated in fruit, flower, food, and face. Yes, the pictures are very pretty. But why, for example, when his endpapers display the phases of the moon (as seen from the southern hemisphere) does Colón ignore this immutable pattern, depicting a waxing crescent moon and a full moon in what purports to be the same night sky? And why, for example, when the use of its true name, “luna moth,” would be appropriate, just as evocative, and even more elegant, does Spinelli (Wanda’s Monster, 2002, etc.) self-consciously refer to this creature as a “lunar moth?” Perhaps this surrealistic lullaby will be sweetly soporific to some, but its forced rhythms and oblique verbal and visual metaphors are more likely just to leave readers yawning. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)