February 19, 2018

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If My Moon Was Your Sun by Andreas Steinhöfel | SLJ Review

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redstarSTEINHÖFEL, Andreas. If My Moon Was Your Sun. illus. by Nele Palmtag. 80p. Plough. Nov. 2017. Tr $19.00. ISBN 9780874860795.

Gr 2-5 –Steinhöfel tenderly captures a child’s fear and understanding of a loved one with dementia. Shortly after his ninth birthday, Max woke with a feeling that “was endlessly deep and glowing” that something was missing. Taking action, he walks across town to the nursing home where his grandfather has recently moved. Max sneaks his grandfather out of the nursing home and they go to the nearby meadow, a magical place where Max and his grandfather have spent many summer days and where Max felt “watched over, protected and comforted” for as long as he can remember. They talk about the moon and how you can sometimes see it during the day, but not always. Later Max expresses his greatest fear to his grandfather, “That someday I’ll ask, do you remember? And you won’t remember anymore. And that someday…someday you will forget how much you love me.” Max’s grandfather assuages Max’s fear with “You can’t always see the moon, but you know it’s always there. Right?” Steinhöfel’s lush, evocative language, tingly with a sense of place and emotion, is accompanied by Palmtag’s colored pencil illustrations that prove a perfect match with their whimsy and tenderness. VERDICT With its loving portrayal of aging, caring for the elderly, and the keen nature of kids’ sensibilities, this is a must-purchase for all libraries serving children.–Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2017 issue.

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