cover image The Magical Moonballs

The Magical Moonballs

Laura L. Seeley. Peachtree Publishers, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-063-3

Personification comes to seem like an infectious disease in Seeley's (The Book of Shadowboxes) latest picture book. Virtually everything in her feverish illustrations--houses, hearths, couch cushions, cans of food, twentyone meatballs / and seven dill pickles, and so on ad infinitum--comes with human facial features, replete with grin. None other than that bastion of anthropomorphism, the man in the moon, starts off the story with a sneeze. Its impact scatters the clouds into magical moonballs which descend to earth emitting squeals full of happiness. Somewhere between a host of manic Mr. Bubbles and those well-choreographed armies of germs depicted in children's health science films, the moonballs dance their way down a chimney with spry somersaults, / laughing out with delight, and then explore a house. There they entertain a resident teddy bear, until One by one they slipped out / full of final 'Farewells!' / leaving faces of friendliness / under their spells. At best, verse and art are merely insipid. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)