Give Me the Moon

Roxanne Marie Galliez, Author, Cathy Delanssay, Illustrator , trans. from the French by Susan Allen Maurin, illus. by Cathy Delanssay. Langenscheidt/Hammond $14.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8416-7138-6

Set in Venice, this epic of passion, gorgeously illustrated by French illustrator Delanssay, is a meditation on romantic love that evokes the magic-tinged courtships of fairy tale princes and princesses. Beautiful Ava, whose swirling white-blond hair reaches almost to the hem of her ball gown, is drawn to the violinist Marcello, but loved by Vincent, who eventually takes Ava to live on the moon. In the end, Ava comes to her senses: “It was the music she needed, not Marcello, even though she was very fond of him.” Children may respond to the embedded fable of the origin of the cello (Ava's tears nourish the seed of a mighty tree from which Marcello makes an instrument larger than his violin, so Ava can hear his music from the moon), and they'll pore over Delanssay's windswept, moonlit spreads. Galliez's prose puts heavy emphasis on the consuming power of love and music (“A note touched Ava in a secret place, a place that she had forgotten. It was low and soft, and it felt like a kiss”). A slight erotic undercurrent will likely go unnoticed by the intended audience. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
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