cover image Under the Moon

Under the Moon

Dyan Sheldon. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1670-4

Like Sheldon and Blythe's previous collaboration, The Whales' Song , winner of the 1991 Kate Greenaway medal, this exquisite picture book is imbued with the magic of nature and dreams. When Jenny finds an arrowhead in her backyard, her mother tells her about a time when ``there were no roads, no cars, no cities, and no towns. Just the people, the animals, and the land itself.'' That night, Jenny dreams she is invited to join a campfire gathering of Native Americans, who describe ``how the world had been, so long ago, when the land was as large and as open as the sky.'' Together, the sonorous text and remarkable oil paintings suggest the triumph of the imagination over time. The book is not a nostalgic lament for the past; rather, it offers a glimpse of the paradoxical reality and beauty of both past and present--the sunlight on Jenny's hair and the tangle of flowers in her backyard are just as breathtaking as vistas of starlit tepees. One memorable illustration, like a doubly exposed photograph, depicts a suburban street as the burnished face of a Native American appears through the shimmering clouds and houses, as if present and past were one. Ages 4-8. (May)