Thursday, September 01, 2011

Picture Book Pause---THE MAN IN THE MOON by William Joyce

We're going to take a break from our regularly scheduled contemporary adult literature book reviews to stop and ponder a new picture book.  Today's book is the first picture book in William Joyce's new GUARDIANS OF CHILDHOOD series--THE MAN IN THE MOON.

This gorgeously illustrated book tells the origin story of the Man in the Moon or MiM.  We learn how MiM used to sail the night sky with his parents in ship called the Moon Clipper as he was watched over by his friend and protector Nightlight.  When the evil King of Nightmares, Pitch, attempts to kidnap MiM, his life and the lives of the children on Earth are changed forever.

Joyce cleverly weaves in other origin tales in this short story including how the Earth got its moon, why the moon glows, where lost balloons end up and how the Guardians of Childhood came to be.  The whole tale is wonderfully whimsical and there is plenty for adults to enjoy and appreciate in the book as well as children.

Although this is picture book, it is long and fairly complex.  It will probably work best for children 5 and up.  The King of Nightmares is a bit frightening and there is a scary battles scene but it isn't TOO scary.  Much of the outcome of the battle is suggested rather than explicitly spelled out so adults have the opportunity to explain more to the child if necessary.

I absolutely loved this book!  It hits all the right notes and sets up the series perfectly.  I cannot wait for the next picture book and will also be looking for the Young Reader editions of the books in the series.

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