cover image The Moon is Following Me

The Moon is Following Me

Philip Heckman. Atheneum Books, $13.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31565-7

Inviting imagery distinguishes this simple story about a child returning by car with her parents from a trip to Gramma and Grampa's. It's late, ``after my bedtime,'' and the child fights sleep to watch as the moon follows the car on the journey home. Heckman creates playful poetry out of the mundane: ``The moon rolls along telephone wires''; ``In the distance, dark wooded hills stand at attention. Tall black trees salute.'' But Young's illustrations--her picture book debut--undercut Heckman's attempts to locate mystery in ordinary scenes. Although her pictures are composed well, they are flooded in otherworldly hues--chiefly, astral violets and blue-greens. The contrast with Heckman's prose becomes especially intrusive when the narrator observes that ``the moon has washed all color from the earth and hidden it away.'' Ages 4-6. (Mar.)