It’s been a big year for the moon, thanks to the spectacle that was the Great American Eclipse. No doubt about it, when it comes to magic and mystery, the moon puts its cosmic competition in the shade! If you haven’t already introduced your young ones to the wonders of moon, our roundup of lunar-inspired titles is a great place to start.
Rachael Cole’s sweet, simple City Moon (ages 3 to 7) takes place on a crisp autumn evening. After darkness has fallen, “after tooth-brushing time,” a boy and his mother head out for a stroll, hand in hand, to find the moon. “We crane our necks up to the sky, but it’s hiding,” the boy says. “Where is it?” The city streets hum with after-dark activities. There are shoppers and dog-walkers, cyclists and joggers, colorful taxicabs and a fierce-looking fire engine. When mother and son finally come upon the moon, full and beaming above the dark cityscape, the reader shares their sense of surprise. Blanca Gómez’s collage-like, urban-inspired illustrations are a feast for the eyes. The book’s closing image of the boy asleep in bed, his room illuminated by the moon, sums up the enchantment of this tranquil little tale.
AN UNFORGETTABLE GAME
When the Moon Comes (ages 4 to 8) by Paul Harbridge is a luminous story of friendship and full-moon magic. As December sets in with a hard freeze and snow, a group of kids gets set to play a nighttime game of hockey. Only one thing is missing: the moon. They wait for it to get full (“This week the moon is growing”), their excitement increasing. When the big night finally arrives, the kids bundle up and trek down to the frozen water. As the full moon rises above the trees, the book’s narrator—a young boy—stops midgame to take in the sight. With his friends, he shares a night on the ice that’s truly special. Artist Matt James creates a winter wonderland in breathtaking illustrations that have texture and a sense of mystery. This one-of-a-kind moonlit adventure is sure to capture young imaginations.
The captivating story of a solitary forest urchin, Wee Sister Strange (ages 4 to 8) by Holly Grant will leave little readers mesmerized. Grant tells the tale of her heroine—a pale slip of a girl with red hair and a crown of leaves—through rhymed stanzas. At home in the woods, Wee Sister Strange goes exploring after sundown: “She drinks up the moon / Like a cat drinking cream. / She drinks up the dark / Like it’s tea with the queen.” Wee Sister Strange is brave enough to climb a tree, dive into a bog and befriend a bear. She’s clearly looking for something on her way through the woods, but the reader doesn’t find out what it is until the book’s final heartwarming scenes. Artist K.G. Campbell’s marvelous illustrations transport the reader to an intriguing otherworld. This fantastical tale has all the makings of a classic.