cover image Music for Mister Moon

Music for Mister Moon

Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. Stead. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4160-0

A girl named Harriet accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky in this story by the Caldecott Award–winning Steads. He’s a round, lemony globe with a kindly expression who dreams of not being the moon; she takes him rowing on a lake (which he’s always wanted to do), then carries him home into the sky with the help of some owls and a fishing net. But the tale is perhaps better understood as a portrait of Harriet, a solemn, solitary child with a long braid who loves to play the cello but hates to be watched. “Someday you will play your cello in a big orchestra,” her parents say. “Won’t that make you happy?” Harriet retreats to a secret place in her mind: “Then she closed her eyes and changed her parents into penguins.” The fine lines of Erin Stead’s pencil drawings introduce readers to Harriet’s inner life, where the wishes of her parents and the glare of the world can’t intrude. It’s a deep, almost reverent look at how a child can use her imagination to create not just the world she wants, but the world she needs. Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]