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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Your Moon, My Moon, written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"The sun is hot
where you live.
So far away.
Fire finches fly up in the trees
hoping for shade.
You can count them."

I have always admired Patricia MacLachlan's thoughtful, beautiful writing. I saw her speak once, and decided right then and there, she was just the kind of person everyone should hear. That would ensure their interest in reading whatever she wrote. And so, I remain a fan to this day and am pleased to share her newest love letter with you.

It is written from a grandmother to a much loved grandchild, who lives far away. She begins where she lives and then talks about the home of her grandchild. They are very different, but visits are possible and memories have been made. Sharing books was a starting point...and they read many together. While their worlds are different, there are many similarities. There are things they can do together in either place; skating in one place, swimming in the other. The grandchild has dogs to love him, while the grandmother has dogs to take on walks. Her dogs miss the child they loved so much when he made a visit.

The moon shines in both places, and they each can see it. Her grandchild loves the moon and the connection it makes to his grandmother's world. It is something I have talked with my children about, especially when we are far apart. There is comfort in knowing that we see the same moon in the sky and its light shines on each of us. It is a wonderful thing!

There are memories here, and stories. There is elegant language and great comfort.

"Where you live you sleep under a netting
like a royal child,
safe from buzzing mosquitoes.
Do you dream about me?
Walking with my dogs?
Do you remember the books I read you, the words
falling around us both like a blanket?"

Bryan Collier uses watercolor and collage to create the artwork that so perfectly matches the quiet, loving tone of Ms. MacLachlan's words. His use of light and color shows the heat and cold of the two climates, while filling the pages with images that honor the people of the world. The textures make you want to reach out and touch them. The lines and perspectives create interest that invite close inspection for all who share this lovely book.

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