cover image Meet Me at the Moon

Meet Me at the Moon

Gianna Marino. Viking, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-01313-5

In this reassuring and richly illustrated book about separation, a mother elephant tells her Little One that she must leave and “climb the highest mountain to ask the skies for rain.” “What if I can’t hear you, Mama?” Little One asks. “Listen for my sound on the wind,” she answers. “But Mama, I won’t be able to see you,” the small elephant says later. “If we both look at the same star, it will be as if we are seeing each other,” she replies. Marino (One Too Many) crafts gorgeous, textured paintings suffused with the golden sunlight of the African plains—except, of course, at night, when a giant, milk-white moon hangs in the sky. The elephants’ giant, wrinkled bodies dominate gentle scenes of mother-and-child affection; distant giraffes and zebras move to the foreground after Little One’s mother leaves, lending comfort to the small elephant. When rain finally arrives but Mama doesn’t return, Little One is bereft until he remembers to “sing the calling song” that brings her back. Marino’s breathtaking panoramas make an already powerful story sing. Ages 2–6. Agent: Deborah Warren, East/West Literary Agency. (Mar.)