cover image Molly on the Moon

Molly on the Moon

Mary Robinette Kowal, illus. by Diana Mayo. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-25961-5

Molly, her mother, and baby brother Luke have moved to the moon. But following the rocket-ship ride, their underground moon module is no speculative paradise: each child could bring only one toy—a stuffed lamb for Molly, blocks for Luke—and while Mayo’s (Snow Ghost) mixed-media characterizations, soft textures, and blue hues offer a visual gentleness, the brown-skinned family’s room is cramped, isolated, and sparsely furnished. Molly soon improvises more playthings, including a tin-can tea set and a “witch’s cape” from an old solar panel cover. But when Molly angrily pulls her lamb away from Luke, sending him floating to the room’s ceiling in the moon’s weak gravity, Molly realizes how much her brother needs her. “He didn’t have anybody at all to play with on the Moon,” writes Kowal (the Lady Astronaut series, for adults), “except for her.” And with Mom’s help, she turns pieces of the witch’s cape into a stuffed animal for Luke. Tensions between siblings are familiar material, but Molly’s quiet determination to make the most of her new and limited circumstances gives this story emotional heft. An author’s note discusses the moon’s weak gravity. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)