FICTION

If You Were the Moon

illus. by Jamie Kim. 32p. Millbrook. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781467780094.
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PreS-Gr 2—On one level this is a bedtime story about the moon, but on another it's an introduction to the science of astronomy. The left side of each spread relates the simple tale of a girl going to bed, who chides the moon for "doing exactly nothing." The moon responds using playful analogies, inviting children to imagine its activities. If you were the moon, you would "hover near your mother" and "play dodgeball with space rocks." You would "catch and throw. Catch and throw" (a reference to the moon's glow being caused by light "caught" from the sun and "thrown" back to Earth). The right side of each spread offers a scientific explanation of lunar phenomenon, such as cycles and gravity, or glimpse of how humans and animals experience the moon. Hatching sea turtles move toward moonlight; farmers around the world use moon phases to plan crops. The luminous cover illustration, evoking the moon's glow in the evening sky, will have hands reaching for this book. Deeply saturated illustrations, created with acrylic paint and digital techniques, capture the mystique of the moon at night and make this title satisfying to gaze upon, even for little ones who may not yet grasp some of the more abstract concepts.
VERDICT This selection can be appreciated on many different levels, making it both a wonderful bedtime read and a versatile early science resource for young children in group settings.

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