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Saturday, September 22, 2018

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, written and illustrated by Grace Lin. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette. 2018. $23.49 ages 4 and up

"And Little Star remembered
as she brushed her teeth,
washed her face,
snuggled into bed,
and fell asleep.

But in the middle of the night,
Little Star woke up."

Baking a mooncake with her mother is a very special time for Little Star. She watches carefully as her mother places that mooncake in the sky to cool. She listens carefully to her mother's instructions about not touching it until her mother tells her it is time. She goes to sleep knowing exactly what she is to do.

But ... even in sleep she thinks of that mooncake and cannot resist getting out of bed to have a nibble. Only a little one, and then she is quickly back in bed. Knowing that mooncake hangs in the sky is too tempting for a little girl. Each night she sneaks out of bed to take another little bite ... until there is nothing left but crumbs.

"Until one night, Little Star's mama went to look for the Big
Mooncake. Where was it? It was gone! Instead of a glowing,
round cake, there was just a trail of twinkling crumbs."

Unperturbed, her mother has the perfect solution.

What a beautiful way to learn about the moon and its phases! I know that I will be asked to read it many times, and deservedly so. Little ones will love to be in on the mischief evoked by Little Moon's constant visits for 'just a wee nibble.'

The gouache artwork is extraordinary! The endpapers see mother and daughter preparing the mooncake together (and include a number of lovely details), and the black backgrounds allow the bright yellows of the moon and stars to illuminate every page. It is headed for my 'keepers' shelf!

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