cover image Many Moons

Many Moons

James Thurber. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-15-251872-1

Reillustrating a classic is a dicey proposition. On the one hand, publishers run the risk of alienating readers loyal to the original interpretation; but on the other, there's the opportunity to captivate new readers with a fresh artistic vision. The track record for re-illustrations is mixed as well, but in this case, the verdict is unequivocal: success. A Caldecott Medalist himself, Simont proves a noble successor to Louis Slobodkin, and his buoyant watercolors, full of poignancy and subtle merriment, more than do justice to Thurber's beloved tale of a princess who asks for the moon, and the wise jester who presents her with it. Even staunch traditionalists will find it hard to resist this new version. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)