cover image Martin on the Moon

Martin on the Moon

Martine Audet, trans. from the French by Sarah Quinn, illus. by Luc Melanson. Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-926973-16-6

Debut author Audet’s closely observed first-person narrative—which amount to an extended daydream—follows Martin’s thoughts as he tries to make sense of his first day at school: “The teacher is waving her arms around, talking with her hands. She looks like one of those seagulls that flies along the riverbanks.” Martin struggles to concentrate and fails, but his good heart and his poet mother’s tutelage save him when his teacher gently singles him out for inattention (“I blush right to the tips of my ears.... Then I think of the poem that I wrote with Mum Mum”). The classroom, he discovers, is not such a hostile place after all. Melanson’s (Book of Big Brothers) fuzzy-edged artwork fills space with repeating forms like desks, chairs, and the round heads of Martin’s classmates, while saving his whimsy for the products of Martin’s imagination: the moon landing on his desk, seagulls flying above his classmates, the relocation of the classroom to a riverbank. A compassionate, refreshing take on the common theme of “first day” jitters. Ages 4–up. (Apr.)