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A Full Moon Is Rising Hardcover – May 1, 2011
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A celebration of the full moon via various cultures, countries and festivals. Singer deftly invites readers to consider and appreciate Earth s silvery satellite through poems written in a variety of styles that offer a glimpse of how the full moon is enjoyed and welcomed throughout the world. Cairns cheery, childlike, energetic watercolors, feeling the double-page spreads, make the diverse cultures and locales come alive. Readers will be enchanted by the idea that the lovely orb that shines above all the world s peoples has engendered so much wonder and so many rich traditions. Double-page world maps on the endpapers that pinpoint the locales in which the poems are set and a foreword with illustrations of the moon s phases in both hemispheres add to the interest and helpfulness of this volume, enhancing its usefulness as a literary work and a supplement to classroom studies about the moon. Gentle and lovely, just like its inspiration. --Kirkus Reviews
In this picture-book collection, veteran children s poet Singer offers a moving, informative lunar journey around the globe, starting with New York City s Broadway Moon, which waits behind skyscrapers / a brilliant actor in the wings. On each spread, Singer creates an evocative verse vignette that suggests a whole story with only a few lines. In the Sahara, for example, a Moroccan boy gazes at the full moon from his tent and dreams of exploring it himself: Astronauts less familiar with heat and dust / have walked there. / Why not one day / him? In many selections, Singer neatly folds scientific information into the lyrical lines, as in a scene of ghostly divers moving silently over a reef as the coral prepare to spawn under the full moon. The. . . . joyful colors and compositions echo the words celebratory tone. More lunar information opens and closes this creative choice for cross-curricular sharing that taps into the moon s mysterious, aweinspiring allure. --Booklist
Singer's sparkling verses celebrate the majesty of the moon as experienced in settings around the world, each distinctly conveyed in Cairns's perceptive watercolors. A "Broadway Moon" peers between skyscrapers as a girl, "an audience of one/ watches and silently applauds." In Haifa, Israel, a family gathers for a meal under a sukkah: "Come rejoice in the fair harvest,/ in the harvests long past,/ and the ones yet to come." The lunar celebration even extends beyond Earth, with a scientist in the International Space Station contemplating both Earth's moon and the Martian moon, Phobos. The breadth of perspectives creates a stirring portrait of a familiar but no less marvelous sight. --Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
MARILYN SINGER is the author of more than eighty-five children s books in a variety of genres, including many poetry collections. Honors her books have won include the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor, Parents Choice Award, Children s Choice Award, and Notables from ALA, NCSS, NCTE, and NSTA. Singer s lifelong fascination with the moon led her to explore moon customs, beliefs, and celebrations of different people and cultures. She and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, Connecticut.
JULIA CAIRNS is a fulltime fine artist and illustrator known for her colorful images and joyous, whimsical style. In addition to creating illustrations for children s books, Cairns has exhibited her work in shows and galleries around the United States, England, and Botswana, all places where she has lived for several years. The moon always inspires me, says Cairns, and it often appears in her paintings. A Full Moon Is Rising gave Cairns many more opportunities to paint her favorite celestial body. She lives in Galisteo, New Mexico, with her husband and their two children.
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Thanks to Singer and Cairns, we get to visit a camel fair in India, a dreaming boy in the Sahara, a wheat field in Iowa, a sukkah in Israel, coral spawning in the Caribbean Sea, wolves howling at the moon in Canada, the ruins of a temple to Artemis in Turkey, a lunar eclipse in Mali, and the moon festival in Hong Kong. We also learn about high tide in the Bay of Fundy, a famous Colombian astronomer, and Mars's unusually shaped moon, Phobos.
The Phobos poem is one of my favorites: the address of the poem is the International Space Station, and the point of view is that of an astronaut.
Throughout the book, Singer quietly changes tone and sometimes poetry forms. But her work is consistently pleasing and informal, mostly free verse with the occasional rhyme thrown in. Singer begins and ends the book with a "Broadway Moon" making its entrance and exit in New York City. The first poem starts out:
It waits behind skyscrapers,
a brilliant actor in the wings,
ready for its monthly debut...
A very helpful one-page author's note not only introduces the poems, it shows and names the phases of the moon, as well. Then at the end of the book, a note about each poem gives further scientific and cultural information in a brief, clear paragraph. Don't skip the end notes--they're terrific! For example, we learn that Phobos is scheduled for demolition one of these millenia and that flamingos migrate by night.
Julia Cairns' illustrations are in watercolor, but they are strong enough that they almost look like acrylic used with water. Her work is deliberately a bit rough-edged and casual in style, with a loose look that carries us easily from page to page. The art helps unify a book that is purposefully all over the place, covering social science, science, poetry, and bedtime in one fell swoop as it visits more than a dozen countries.
Come along with Singer and Cairns, celebrating the full moon!
I loved all the poems and the bright, detailed, descriptive watercolors accompanying them but my favorite lines are from one poem set in Cape Town, South Africa
"Such smart children." Mama laughs.
"Bright as the moon!"
My daughter loved that children all across the world see the same moon she is seeing here in the US (specifically that her cousin in India - my niece). Her favorite poem was the one set in Australia - a beautiful painting accompanying it too
"Its glow builds a magic staircase from the mudflats to the sky."
The end pages of the book are not to be skipped as they contain a brief overview of the phases of the moon (Gibbous is my favorite word there) and a brief description of the festivities mentioned in the poems.
My favorite thing about A Full Moon Is Rising had nothing to do with the poems themselves. At the back of the book is a section About the Poems that discusses everything from lunar eclipses, to Greek Gods to the Moon Festival in China.
The poems are short and fairy easy to grasp the mean of and I thought the illustrations went along quite well with the poems.
Rating: 3.5 Stars – Good Book
Source: Review Copy
Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Lee & Low books via Netgalley.
The text is slightly disjointed if the reader is expecting a story with a beginning, middle and end, but taken one poem at a time there is a pleasantness in the vistas explored.
The artwork is colorful, evoking a Grandma Moses-like naive quality.
The book was a quick read and I enjoyed seeing how the different cultures were portrayed.
I recommend this title to people with children who they want to start a dialogue with about either full moon celebrations or other cultures.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley.