cover image Moon


Alison Oliver. Clarion, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-328-78160-4

Moon has purple skin, long black hair, and a daunting list of responsibilities—soccer practice, trumpet lessons, etc. She wants more (“To run. To yell. To be wild”), and a nighttime visit from a wolf answers her yearning. The wolf leads Moon to its pack, and they show her “the wolfy ways.” Vignettes in a nocturnal palette of black, purple, and green show Moon blissfully howling with the pack under a sliver of waning moon, then entering into tranquil waiting: “The chirping of the insects seemed to grow quiet. The ocean of stars felt not so far away.” Moon returns to her old life transformed, and the freedom she’s tasted spreads to her friends; in the final spread, they all wear garlands of flowers. In her debut as author, Oliver (illustrator of the BabyLit board book series) handles her story’s pacing with skill, setting up just enough backstory to establish Moon’s frustration, then lavishing attention on her midnight encounter. Plenty of stories assure readers that nature is worth exploring; this one suggests that it has the power to change them. Ages 4–7. Agent: Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow Literary. (Apr.)