From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K–The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;/She shines on thieves on the garden wall,/On streets and fields/and harbour quays,…. Stevensons poetic images might seem a bit puzzling to young listeners today, but they make perfect sense juxtaposed with this satisfying visual story of a nighttime boat ride. The full moon outside a familys house parallels the round face of the tall clock as a small boy and his father prepare for the outing. Outside, raccoons are busy on the garden wall. Lots of homey detail in the line drawings washed in watercolor sketch in the busy home life as Mom in her bathrobe and slippers and a sleepy baby stay at home while the family dog and cat curl up in the back of the pickup truck to join the outing. The poetic lines unfold with the trip through the countryside, out on the lake, and eventually back home and into bed. The loving family, their energetic pets, the homey clutter, and the lush countryside at night convey a lovely bedtime story that concludes with the morning sun rising on a new day. Stevensons lines fall pleasantly on the ear, and Pearson offers much to see on this moonlit night. The three stanzas of the poem appear together in reprise as the final page in a beautifully crafted interpretation thats sure to be widely enjoyed as family reading.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 1. Stevenson's famous 12-line poem, which begins "The moon has a face / like the clock in the hall," becomes the text of a picture-book depiction of the nighttime outing of a contemporary father and his child. Leaving Mother and Baby behind, they climb into a truck with the dog, the cat, and some provisions; travel to the dock; and take their boat across a cove and back again while they watch the places and creatures illuminated by the moon. The pictured journey creates a vivid, visual counterpoint to the poetry, which flows as magically as an incantation. Though inspired by the poem, the luminous ink-and-watercolor illustrations reflect Pearson's creative imagination and her sure sense of what is visually interesting to young children. Along with the many detailed pictures of the characters' expedition, one double-page spread is a lovely panorama of the water and the surrounding landscape, with the moon floating above it all. Picture-book versions of "Block City," "My Shadow," and other poems drawn from Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses
have entranced children over the years. This mesmerizing interpretation shows once again the timeless quality of the poet's verse. Jane Yolen's Owl Moon
(1987), Amy Tan's The Moon Lady
(1995), and Cynthia Rylant's Long Night Moon
(2004) make excellent follow-ups or companions to this lovely book. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved