From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Little Moon Dog happily snoozes by the Man in the Moon's side until a tourist bus filled with annoying winged visitors arrives for summer vacation. The Man in the Moon goes into hiding, but the pup gets curious about the vacationers' activities and slips out to investigate. When fairylike temptresses give him treats and a pair of his own wings, LMD becomes fascinated with his new friends and their mischievous behavior and goes with them when they leave. Eventually, the fairies tire of his company, begin to wreak havoc with the signs of spring, and chase him away. Little Moon Dog sits sadly alone with patched wings longing for home, while the Man in the Moon begins to give up hope of finding his companion. When he recognizes the canine's sad howl, he searches for him and they return home in a Rube Goldberg-like hot-air balloon. The following year, master and companion decide to go away when the visitors are expected. Dog and master are large-headed with expressive eyes and body language; the Man in the Moon is drawn as a bearded caretaker both of his companion and their environment. The cover art glistens with a pearlescent moon glow and similar soft-focus colors appear throughout, infusing the characters with an ethereal luster. The lessons of caring for our environment, false/true friendship, and that adventure is not as important as long-term love and understanding are all useful ways to use this story in the library or classroom.—Lynne Mattern, Robert Seaman School, Jericho, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The English team behind The Tin Forest
(2001) reaches for the moon with their latest title. But although this is as exquisitely illustrated as their previous collaborations, it lacks some storytelling magic. The book's protagonists are the Man in the Moon (a kindly old gent with wild hair) and his beloved, spotted mutt. Although the lunar landscape is rather desolate, fairy tourists arrive each year on an overloaded bus to disturb the peace. Somewhat predictably, fairies lure the dog away from the Old Man and take it to their planet, leaving the man rather desolate himself. Soon enough, the fairies lose interest in the dog, and the man retrieves it. Ward tells the story in lovely language, but the lesson about friendship is delivered with a heavy hand, and it doesn't help that some words are capitalized for emphasis. The last page points out: "There is nothing quite so NASTY as a fickle FAIRY and nothing quite so NICE as a faithful FRIEND." Fortunately, Anderson's delicately detailed pictures take children directly to another world. Abby NolanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved