the beautiful bright orb flicker
through the passing trees,
trailing behind the car as it
traveled home, this way and
that, playing peekaboo.
Up a hill, down a hill,
the moon was ever there.
Over a bridge, around a
curve, the moon bounced
Max loves his grandfather with all of his heart. When it is time to leave Grandpa's house for home, Max has a very difficult time. Grandpa wants him to be worry-free; so, he promises Max that the moon will always be shining for him right there in the dark sky. As they travel Max keeps his eye on the moon, and it shines brightly for him. Then, as storm clouds roll in, his pleasure lessens and he worries that the moon will disappear, which it does.
He feels lonely for his Grandpa, and sad that the moon's disappearance means that his grandfather's love could also do the same. He has much to think about as he watches the dark night sky looking for the moon, and then heads to bed. As the moon reappears when the sky clears, Max understands that his grandfather's love, like the moon's light, will go on forever.
"Max knew then that whenever he saw the moon, he would think of Grandpa, on and on.
And he slept soundly, embraced in soft yellow light."
Soft light, luminous artwork and the joy of familial love brings a special glimmer to this lovely, warm story. I have been a fan of Floyd Cooper's since I heard speak many years ago. I am always on the lookout for anything new, and still feel a sense of awe at seeing the beautiful illustrations he creates using an oil wash on board, and his stretchy eraser. It is truly wonderful to watch him erase paint to make astonishing pictures. He calls it a 'subtractive process' and although, I could never even begin to describe it to you, I will never forget watching him create 'magic'. He adds color later to bring out the details for the image he is creating.