cover image Moontellers: Myths of the Moon

Moontellers: Myths of the Moon

Lynn Moroney, Rising Moon. Rising Moon Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87358-601-6

This collection of folktales from a variety of cultural traditions displaces the familiar man-in-the-moon: here the lunar face reveals, in turn, a rabbit and frog, a weaver and her cat, and even a four-eyed jaguar. An Aboriginal myth, for example, speaks of the waning moon as Baloo, who once visited the Earth and fell into a river while riding a canoe; he shrinks whenever he recalls this embarrassment. Each of the 12 tales is paired with a vignette about the pertinent culture. Filling four-fifths of each spread, Shed's (Casey Over There) oil and colored-pencil illustrations are rendered in an unvarying, brown and orange palette that, along with their stereotypical subjects and composition, do little to rouse the reader's imagination. Still, they evoke a down-to-earth presence that matches the text's teacherly tone. Indeed, the book's poetic title is misleading: these ""myths"" are really synopses that sacrifice the intimate and playful details of full-fledged storytelling. Ages 4-up. (May)