cover image Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer

Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer

Tonya Bolden, illus. by Eric Velasquez. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0792-6

Bolden (Maritcha: A 19th Century American Girl) expands a pleasingly simple premise into a depiction of the profound possibility of prayer. It’s night. An “amber orb”—the moon—floats above the city, and a boy startles awake in bed, having forgotten to say his nightly prayers. Velasquez (My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart) shows the subjects of the boy’s prayers—“people with no homes,” the hungry, the lonely, “for wars to end.” His prayers move from his outer circle of concern to his inner, as the boy includes his parents, “Grandma Grace,” “Mikey, his turtle,” and his wish for his teacher “to read a story every day.” Velasquez’s illustrations, done in mixed media and oil on watercolor paper, convey mostly urban scenes in dark blues and browns, each illuminated by moonlight, which are both peaceful and full of detail. The book offers young readers plenty to look at, along with a simple message about the way prayer unites everyone, as the multicultural subjects in Velasquez’s gorgeous illustrations make clear. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content LLC. (Nov.)