cover image My Little Half-Moon

My Little Half-Moon

Douglas Todd Jennerich, illus. by Kate Berube. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16901-4

A boy sees a half-moon hanging in the sky and assumes “he” must be pining for his other half: “No one to glow with and everyone knowing/ How sad is the face that the half a moon’s showing.” So the boy begins a combination vigil/intervention, camping out in his backyard to keep the moon company, attempting to lighten the mood with an extended show and tell, and even offering a pep talk (“I told him without him, the world would be dim,/ How tides in the ocean were all ’cause of him”). One night, finally, the moon is full. Not only have the boy’s efforts worked—in his opinion, at least—but he’s found his own other “half”: a girl who has been admiring him from afar. Debut author Jennerich has written a heartfelt tribute to the power of empathy, but his literal-minded quatrains don’t wear well. Although Berube’s (Hannah and Sugar) blue-green palette provides lovely nocturnal atmosphere, it’s not enough to counter a text that quickly turns cloying. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Grainne Fox, Fletcher & Company. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. [em](May) [/em]