K-Gr 3-Curtis's charming rhyme begins, "I took the Moon for a walk last night./It followed behind like a still summer kite,/Though there wasn't a string or a tail in sight/when I took the Moon for a walk." The child's journey continues over a bridge, past a sharp steeple that nearly snags the moon, through a pack of howling dogs, and across the dewy grass. Throughout, the language is fresh and visual: "rust-bellied robins," "neighborhood dogs made a train-whistle choir," "clouds that were fragile as lace." The book ends with two pages of facts about the phases of the moon and some of the animals and plants included in the story. The folk-art-inspired illustrations are a perfect complement to the gentle fantasy. Using oil painted on paper with a crackling varnish, Jay creates a moving, panoramic country landscape in which the pictures tell many stories that children will love to discover-the skinny-legged moon loses a slipper; the neighborhood dogs run out for an evening romp; a gentleman pedals by on a bike, enjoying the still evening. This is a quaint and quiet book worth sharing.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children who've noticed the moon magically "following" them everywhere will appreciate newcomer Curtis's poem about a boy's imaginative outing. Jay (Picture This...) characterizes the moon as a bluish gent with stringy limbs, a thin, blue-lipped smile and wise eyes, who follows behind the boy. "I warned the Moon to rise a bit higher/ so it wouldn't get hooked on a church's tall spire,/ While the neighborhood dogs made a train-whistle choir/ when I took the Moon for a walk." (Each verse ends dependably with the same eight words.) Jay's trademark oil paintings with their crackled finish reveal charming details not mentioned in the verse: the moon loses one of its red slippers on the church steeple, for instance, and the boy recovers it in the next spread. The artist successfully marries the cool royal blue of the evening sky with the warm orange-reds of the buildings, many of which seem alive (two arched windows and a clock on the church tower form a face), alongside trees that appear to dance on curvy trunks. Boy and moon eventually link arms and accompany each other to their respective realms: the moon descends to skip across a bridge with the boy; boy and moon sail over a playground, and readers are treated to a bird's-eye-view of a fanciful landscape. Endnotes for this soothing lunar lullaby contain facts about the moon's phases and nocturnal animals. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.