cover image Moon Theater

Moon Theater

Etienne Delessert. Creative Editions, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56846-208-0

Unsettling glittery-eyed creatures are tamed by a boy, who masterminds the coming of night like a stage manager. "I water the stars," he says, wielding a sprinkling can. "I dress the birds in long black coats." The huge birds, black paint dripping off their beaks, look slightly embarrassed, but game. "I train wild dogs to howl at the moon," he continues, waving a baton at hills spotted with dogs with huge and terrible teeth. "It all began long, long ago, and it starts anew every night. It's my moon theater," he finishes simply. The gray of night pours over the creatures, and their scary features soften at the sight of the boy. It's the kind of story that mines a rich vein of childhood emotions; Delessert (Full Color) remembers what it is to fear the coming of night, and imagines how powerful it would feel to have mastery over it. Some younger readers may be put off by the teeth and bulbous snouts of the night creatures, but the contrast between the boy's matter-of-fact tone and his mythic project has a strange charm. Ages 6%E2%80%94up. (Nov.)