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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Moonday, written and illustrated Adam Rex. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2013. $17.99 ages 4 and up

"From Dad's shoulders,
I brushed the moon with
my fingertips.

It was chalky and cold.

I climbed into a crater.

"I'm going to have a look around."

With my kids living in different cities than I do, and the opportunities to see them not always plentiful, I find that I take comfort in knowing that the gorgeous full moon that I see is the same one they are seeing. It is a peaceful, easy feeling!

What if that moon actually made its way to your backyard? What a remarkable and unsettling experience to go to sleep while travelling in the car and then awaken to bright moonlight right in your own backyard! In the morning the moon continues to shine through the bedroom window and entices the family outside to see it. Filled with wonder and with bewilderment at its failure to disappear, it does provide adventure:

"I walked over
and under
and around
to where Mom and Dad waited." 

Everywhere else, darkness remains. People go to work in the dark. Children fall asleep in school. Even the teacher can't get her act together in trying to connect the moon to each of the day's lessons. I love the double page spread that shows how yawns pass from one person to the next, all the way through the park to follow the young girl home.

Mom and Dad are working to hide the moon, but they can't hide it enough to control the tides. When water begins to engulf their backyard, they know it is time for action. Another drive in the country entices the moon  to follow, and it eventually lands at the top of the trees where the family first saw its glow.

What a visual and imaginative treat this book is! Not only does it allow a child's imagination to go where it may never have dreamed, it offers a luminous adventure for one family. The two car trips are perfect; the first encourages the moon to follow them home, the next returns it to its place in the night sky. It is a practical, and somewhat humorous, solution to the dilemma of MOONDAY.

Adam Rex fulfills a promise to his readers with the luminous artwork he creates beginning with sunset in a small rural area. Turn the page and you can see darkness settle in, lights begin to illuminate windows, and a rising full moon. That moonlight marks every page, glowing with welcome, brilliant light. You can almost touch it. Even when the family tries to disguise it, it offers a translucent glow. Once the moon has been returned to its place in the sky, the sun can bathe the village in early morning light. A new day dawns!

Truly captivating!

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