cover image Catching the Moon

Catching the Moon

Myla Goldberg, David Gassaway, , illus. by Chris Sheban. . Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-57686-4

Goldberg's (The Bee Season , for adults) elegant text and Sheban's (I Met a Dinosaur ) enchanting illustrations in this tale of friendship between a Fisherwoman and the Man in the Moon are not to be missed. The omniscient narrator begins with a page-turning sentence: "Hardly anyone noticed when the Fisherwoman started fishing at night," and the tale develops like a beguiling dream. The moon, intrigued with the Fisherwoman, puts on "his traveling hat" and sunglasses disguise to visit her at home. They have tea together—he brings a sea cucumber sandwich, and another time a moon pie. One night, the Fisherwoman tells her visitor of her plan to reel in the moon and prevent the tides from eroding the village's fishing shacks ("Her bright-eyed guest was very impressed, but he did not share her fondness for fishing hooks"). The gentle humor in both text and images softens the environmental theme. Sheban's palette of cobalt blue and chestnut brown allow him to highlight the radiant moonlight. The round-faced moon's phosphorescent footprints glow like yellow coins on the pier, and he sends the woman a gift that helps her achieve her lofty goal. Like the artwork, Goldberg's text ripples with mystery and singular images: "Now everyone knows that on one night each month, there is no moon: From Iowa to India, the sky is dark, save for its starlight freckles." This elegant book is as captivating as moonlight shimmering on a quiet sea. Ages 4-8. (May)