cover image Moonlight


Helen V. Griffith, illus. by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-203285-0

Opalescent moonbeams drench hyacinths, daisies, and dozing animals in this peaceful, Impressionistic tale. Initially, under cloudy skies, a sleepy brown rabbit “hops into his burrow/ just a little soon/ doesn’t see the clouds blow by/ setting free the moon.” While the rabbit naps, “Moonlight slides like butter” through a woodland and pond, illuminating leaves, branches, lily pads, and flowers. At last the sinuous light “seeps inside the burrow/ butters Rabbit’s dreams” and awakens him from slumber to dance with “butter on his head!” In gestural brushstrokes, Dronzek (Birds) pictures a forest of midnight blue, violet, and emerald, along with a full moon exuding tendrils of creamy light. Moonlight coats the edges of trees, a resting doe and fawn, a tranquil robin’s nest, and lazy trout. Dronzek’s self-consciously luscious compositions reinforce Griffith’s (Georgia Music) foodie metaphors and recall Georg Hallensleben’s paintings for books like And If the Moon Could Talk. Griffith and Dronzek imagine a safe, human-free environment swaddled in unearthly light, inviting readers to taste a delicious summer night. Ages 2–5. (Feb.)