cover image Thank You, Moon: Celebrating Nature’s Nightlight

Thank You, Moon: Celebrating Nature’s Nightlight

Melissa Stewart, illus. by Jessica Lanan. Knopf, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-593-43507-6

On the verso pages of this picture book, Stewart catalogs in reverent prose how Earth’s moon influences creatures and plants, helping them to survive and flourish. Scientifically oriented recto lines further explain. Alongside “Thank you, Moon,/ for being Earth’s constant companion in space// and making life on/ our planet possible,” an amplified section reveals that the moon’s gravity stabilizes Earth in its rotation, keeping it from temperature extremes that would make life impossible. Lanan’s watercolor and colored pencil spreads provide dramatic close-up glimpses of the species described: moonlight guides leatherback turtle hatchlings to the ocean, influences spawn times for coral as well as pollen release for joint pines, and serves as a signal (“Thank you for warning/ zooplankton to dive deep”). This poetic look at the varied effects of moonlight draws science-minded attention to a phenomenon more often praised for its beauty than its utility. Extensive back matter concludes. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)