cover image A CLOAK FOR THE MOON


Eric A. Kimmel, A CLOAK FOR THE MOONEric A. K. , $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1493-2

Based on a tale attributed to the 18th-century Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, this luminously rendered story centers on a tailor named Haskel who lives in Tzafat (one of the four holy cities of Israel, long associated with Jewish mysticism). One night Haskel dreams that the moon comes to him, wishing for a cloak to keep herself warm, and Haskel vows to make her one. When he wakes up, he says, "Dream or not, I will keep my promise." Although his uncle, a master tailor, tells him to "stop chasing dreams," Haskel dedicates himself to his goal, and when he hears of a legendary garment that stretches or shrinks to fit the wearer, he sets out to find it, in a journey that takes him first to China and then across the desert to a city evocatively named The Roof of the World. Expertly pacing the story, Kimmel (previously paired with Krenina for The Magic Dreidels ) embroiders his prose with graceful details, writing of "radiant satins [and] silks like colored water." The exotic trappings will lure readers, replacing Haskel's determination to keep his promise as the central theme of the work. Intermittently embellished by borders and spot art featuring delicate flower motifs, Krenina's gouache art effectively depicts the Middle and Far Eastern settings of the tale, as well as its timeless sensibility. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)