Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Long Night Moon

Written by: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Mark Siegel

I have always loved the moon, although I have had more time to look at it in days past. Recently my little boy observed on his own that the moon looked like it had a face. I regret to say that I did not go outside and look at it with him during this moment, but I did help him understand how the moon looked to have a face as it shined through his bedroom window. The moon is a mysterious thing, doing such amazing things as pulling and tugging at the ocean and washing the world in silver light. There are many tales of the moon to choose from, and so many are great bedtime stories. This story, Long Night Moon, is by a favorite author of mine, Cynthia Rylant. It begins like this, "Long ago Native Americans gave names to the full moons they watched throughout the year. Each month had a moon. And each moon had its name..."

As you might guess, this book goes through each month's full moon with a few simple sentences for each. The pictures, done in charcoal, are fantastic and well thought out. The end of the book includes a few paragraphs by artist Mark Siegel, and its obvious how serious he took his pursuit of illustrating Rylant's magical words. It's wonderful to hear from the artist, whose role is huge in any children's picture book.

This book is a quiet one, for a quiet moment, under the light of the full moon at its best! Perhaps more appreciated by the slightly older or more thoughtful child, it does present an opportunity for pursuing more information related to the Native American moons. Perhaps you can research this together. Enjoy!

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