cover image I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

Jonathan London, Peter M. Fiore. Viking Children's Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-85918-4

London (Red Wolf Country, reviewed below) amplifies the Irish folk song about the moon (``I see the moon/ and the moon sees me./ God bless the moon/ and God bless me'') to trace the activities of a solitary boy from morning until night as he backpacks through the countryside. At each turn of the page, the boy greets the things he notices: ``I see the birds/ and the birds see me./ Hello birds, / are you singing to me?'' Whether he is paddling a kayak, climbing a mountain or wading a burbling creek, the refrain is nearly identical: ``I see the flowers/ and the flowers see me./ Hello flowers,/ are you smiling for me?'' Fiore's sun-drenched, sometimes impressionistic paintings focus mainly on panoramic landscapes-a field of wildflowers, a seascape perfect for kite-flying, a winding country road-making the center painting, of a bee nestled in a burst of golden petals, all the more startling. When considered separately, the art and text are commendable, but unfortunately each seems designed for a different audience. While the text might enchant preschoolers, its repetitiveness will likely bore older children, and the depiction of the mature boy seems more appropriate for a middle-grade reader than for a toddler. Ages 2-7. (Mar.)