cover image Moonbeams: A Lullaby of the Phases of the Moon

Moonbeams: A Lullaby of the Phases of the Moon

Ann Bausum, illus. by Kyung Eun Han. Little Bee, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4998-1033-2

This quiet bedtime picture book follows the lunar cycle’s phases through a rhythmic conversation between an unnamed narrator and the moon. The refrain, “I see the moon. Can the moon see me?/ Tell me... moon, what do you see?” is followed by a quatrain reply that describes the moon’s phase and a scene it surveys. In Han’s expansive gradient digital spreads, simple figures appear in landscapes across the world, some stated, some vague (“Mongolian plains,” the Taj Mahal, an unspecified Grecian littoral, and Paris), before landing on a snowy scene where “when you’re sleeping, tucked in snug/ I’ll wrap you in a moonlit hug.” Though the couplets at times weight rhyme over clarity (“I see a tower curved a trifle/ based on plans by Gustave Eiffel”), the soft illustrations shine. Back matter includes in-depth explanations via a glossary, list of moon phases, and an author’s note. Ages 4–8. (June)