Your Moon, My Moon: A Grandmother's Words to a Faraway Child

Patricia MacLachlan, illus. by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-7950-0
Collier's crisp, complex illustrations add light to Newbery Award–winner MacLachlan's open letter to a grandchild who lives in Africa. The child's visits are rare, and his sunny surroundings contrast with her cold winters. MacLachlan rehearses facts his parents have told her about him ("Now you like every single book about the moon—you love the moon") and ponders ways to keep their bond strong ("I sing the songs I sang to you every night./ I sing them/ so I will remember you,/ hoping that you will remember me too"). Photographic elements—fabrics, textures, people—within Collier's collages enhance the impact of his realistic portraits. Despite the distance and differences in landscape, text and art shape the story from one of separation into one of connection. Successive spreads make it clear that the grandmother is headed to Africa; in the penultimate painting, she enters the child's room with a wrapped present. While not all children are equally conscious of those who are absent, MacLachlan's distinctive grace and lyricism make this an effective if solemn reminder that they are loved and remembered from afar. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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