cover image A Fort on the Moon

A Fort on the Moon

Maggie Pouncey, illus. by Larry Day. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 97

Tan-skinned brothers Dodge and Fox are planning an out-of-this-world construction project—younger sibling Dodge, the narrator, calls it “a home on the moon for all brave enough to use.” Employing a broken umbrella, a pool noodle, two car seats, and other discards, they construct a spaceship on their home’s widow’s walk and head off on a lunar mission. Plainspoken lines detail the journey winningly (“Moondust sticks to everything. We’re low on tape”), but, in this tribute to intimate sibling relationships, the imaginative adventure is almost beside the point. Watercolor and gouache pictures by Day (Found) have an immediacy that matches the brothers’ confidence and unalloyed affection. Pouncey, making her picture book debut, contributes an astute, tender portrayal of the siblings’ bond; Dodge adores and is comforted by his older brother, and together the two present a unified front against parents who are beloved but (at least in the children’s eyes) clueless. “We lie in our beds, as still as moon craters,” Dodge says, as the two wait to make their secret journey, “till we no longer hear our parents’ soft voices and the ribbon of light beneath our door disappears into darkness.” Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Illustrator’s agent: Hannah Mann, Writers House. (Nov.) [/em]