The Moon Keeper

Zosienka. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-295952-2
Emile, a polar bear, is summoned to “the meeting of the night creatures,” who name him the “new moon keeper”—a job requiring tools such as pliers, a net, crimson string, and a jar of fireflies. In Zosienka’s solo debut, atmospheric gouache and colored pencil illustrations conjure a dreamy world drenched in rich blues and luminous whites, and lend Emile a quiet steadfastness. Climbing a ladder, Emile introduces himself to the resplendent full orb. He shoos away the clouds and fruit bats, and talks to the moon “in the stillness of the night.” When the bear notices the moon shrinking, he offers food (“Have you had enough to eat, Moon?”) and riddling fireflies to no avail. Despairing as the moon turns into the merest sliver, he tells a green bird: “I was supposed to protect it, but I don’t know how to make it stay.” The bird reassures Emile that “things come and go,” and the moon (“a new smile in the sky”) returns anew. A gentle celestial tale that is both a clever introduction to lunar phases and a reassuring meditation on impermanence. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/10/2020
Genre: Children's
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