As we celebrate the moon, the stars, celestial beings and heavenly bodies for our current theme, this book found my eleven year old daughter who was helping me hunt for books related to our theme, in our public libraries. The book cover was so gorgeous I couldn’t resist it. And yes, it is perfect for our theme.
Similar to Robert Ingpen’s The Dreamkeeper which was a letter written by Ingpen to his granddaughter, this book is also a grandmother’s words to a child who lives faraway. Patricia Maclachlan’s granddaughter lives in Africa and so this book shows that great distance between them made closer by the moon.
The lyrical quality of the text, with all its whispered beauty and snowflakes falling is perfectly matched by the cadence and charm of Collier’s artwork that captures two highly-different worlds. On the one hand, there is the “swirling wisps of snow” and slippery ice in Grandmother’s world. On the other, there is sweltering heat of the sun, the fire finches, and fish eagles and sand everywhere in the grandchild’s world.
This book also reminded me of Jeannie Baker’s wordless picture book Mirror where there are two worlds portrayed in stunning collage artwork: a child in Sydney and another child in Morocco.
In Maclachlan and Collier’s book, the tenderness, the longing, and the comfort that the moon provides are vividly captured thrugh gorgeous collage artwork. How the story ends I shall leave for you to discover. For teachers who may wish to use this book in the classroom, here is a short piece written by Sandra Bornstein that includes possible discussion themes that can be used in class.
Your Moon, My Moon: A Grandmother’s Words to a Faraway Child by Patricia Maclachlan and illustrations by Bryan Collier. Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
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