cover image Moon River

Moon River

Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, illus. by Tim Hopgood. Holt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-15900-7

In this dreamy addition to his growing oeuvre of picture books featuring illustrated songs, Hopgood (Singing in the Rain) borrows the title’s classic 1960s tune as his inspiration and text. Taking a semi-literal approach, Hopgood depicts a wispy river snaking from a sleeping girl up to the moon. Awakening, she heads out on horseback (her rocking horse come to life) to meet a guitar-toting “huckleberry friend” (teddy bear), and the “two drifters” set off along the river to see the world. Joining a procession of children and animals, they venture past many of the world’s major sights—the Eiffel Tower, the Coliseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and beyond—until Moon River eventually leads them back home, with only a star as evidence of their nighttime adventure. Working with a backdrop of blues, purples, and blacks, Hopgood reprises the feel-good style of his other books to create a soothing world full of music notes, rainbows, and friendly faces. Ages 4–8. [em](Oct.) [/em]