MOON is written and illustrated by Brita Treckentrup. On the cover, it is described as “A Peek-Through Picture Book.” This description refers to the partial moon cutout on the cover that continues in vary stages of full-ness throughout the story to demonstrate the real-life phases of the moon. It is focused in outdoor setting and animals that support the evening movement of the moon. The first pages set the stage for discovery by asking, “Have you ever wondered why The moon shines in the nighttime sky? How every creature, plant, and tree Is subject to its mystery?”
The story describes a cool evening and the light that the moon shines over it. The pages are primarily dark colors, with pops of color in flowers or animals, and ESPECIALLY the bright yellow moon that is seen on each page through a crescent cutout of varying sizes.
The text goes through these moon phases telling how the moon looks and what it shines down on in each spread. There are insights to natural wonders such as the northern lights above the puffins, birds migrating south to the warmth, turtles swimming to land to lay their eggs, the ocean waves ebbing and flowing because of the moon, even a moonbow appears in the mountains. Many other natural occurrences such as mice hunting, parrots swooping, and penguins huddling take place as well.
It is important to note that the story doesn’t exclusively cover dark backdrops, there are two spreads that are scenes of snowy nights. They are much lighter thanks to the reflective nature of snow and ice and the moon itself and is a great way to show children how moonlit nights can look different than how they would expect or how they might’ve experienced.
It is also great to show that some animals are nocturnal or might not sleep the entire time the sun is out of view. Most animals in the story are active, making use of the moon’s light and it could be a fun discussion into those animals and cycles. Despite the fairly simple text and straight forward images, there is much room for discussion and commentary.
As a hard cover book with a cutout, it is immediately appealing, children will want to outline the figure with their fingertips and thanks to the heavy pages inside as well, they can touch each stage of the moon while reading. This is not a board book so it is meant for gentler hands but would be a great book as a read-along considering the text is a sizable, easy to read, black font, on a light background located in its own space at the bottom of each page. Despite being a darkly illustrated book, the text is extremely easy to follow alone. Some of the animals and lurking shadows that appear earlier in the story reappear later on and add to the fun of searching-in-the-dark-by-the-light-of-the-moon idea that this story plays with.
I would appreciate this as a bedtime read to slow down the mood and heavily emphasize the nighttime concept BUT it is a beautiful story that could be used in many settings.
by Andrea Runnells