Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Days of Picture Books - Moonday by Adam Rex

It's Day 22 of our 30 Days of Picture Books. Picture Book Month may be ending today, but our celebration doesn't stop - we still have 9 more picks for you, lucky readers! We've been hard at work reading new picture books every night and culling out only the best. It's a process for sure, and often the ones I like don't make the cut in Sprout's book, but we do seek to strike a balance.

Tonight's choice is one that's a hit with all three of us - Mama, Daddy and Sprout - Moonday by Adam Rex. The visuals are hands-down the big attraction here, as you can probably imagine. With that gigantic glowing moon right smack on the front cover, Sprout was drawn to it first thing, and frankly so was I. And the gorgeousness continues throughout. Some spreads are just pulsing with so much energy you feel as if the page doesn't exist, and you could be pulled right in to the story yourself.

Moonday reads like a "what if" -- what if the moon didn't disappear one morning, but instead settled into a family's backyard and stayed there? That's what happens to our protagonist, who wakes up to find that the full moon she saw so clear and bright the night before has come to rest outside her back door. It's intriguing but disturbing too, as the whole town's rhythm of the day is thrown off. Even the teacher is too sleepy to conduct class, and our heroine finds that a yawn she begins at one corner bounces around from person to person only to catch her on the way around. It's pretty clear that someone has to do something, and when the tide comes in, our hero decides she knows what to do to get the moon back where it belongs.

This lovely bedtime read has the whiff of a tall tale about it, and it's definitely one that will spark a kiddo's imagination. After we read it the other night, Sprout started spinning his own tale about what would happen if the sun landed in our front yard and stayed there ("I think it would burn up all our grass, Mom!"). Rex demonstrates a much more contemplative side here, and I like that about him - he shows that for all the humor of some of his previous works (Chu's Day, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, for one, which is funny even to the littlest reader), he's got a thoughtful aspect as well.

The moon is mystery and magic for so many reasons, and Rex captures a bit of that magic in picture book form with Moonday. Pair it with a book like David Wiesner's Tuesday for a storytime that's surreal and dreamy, just like a moonlit night.

Moonday by Adam Rex, published by Disney Hyperion

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