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Long Night Moon Hardcover – December 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–Books this good come along once in a blue moon. Rylant opens this radiant offering by explaining: "Long ago Native Americans gave names to the full moons they watched throughout the year. Each month had a moon. And each moon had a name.…" The two-page illustration shows a woman holding a baby and looking at the nighttime sky. Scenes of their house and the surrounding countryside accompany the 12 poems that follow, beginning with January and tracing the cycle of the year. To read the text is to be bathed in the magic of moonlight, magic extended by Siegel's luminous charcoal, pencil, and pastel landscapes. February's picture is stark and cold; a solitary stag, his breath a white cloud, stands by an icicle-shrouded bear den. The stag appears again in March as does the den without the icicles, and the painting glows with green tones: "a Sap Moon rises/over/melting ponds,/sleepy bears,/small green trees./It tells a promise/and a hope." The woman and the now-older child reappear at the end and again gaze at the orb from their garden gazebo: "And in December/the Long Night Moon waits/and waits/and waits/for morning./This/is the faithful moon./This one is your friend." Savor this thoughtful book, and pair it with Jane Yolen's Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987) for a lyrical bedtime read-aloud.–Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. "Long ago Native Americans gave names to the full moons they watched throughout the year." Taking off from this premise, Rylant's lyrical prose moves month by month, the words placed against melting nighttime skies. In January, it's a Stormy Moon, "in mist, / in ice, / on a wild wolf's back." In May, a Flower Moon "blooms wide open, bright." By November, the Frosty Moon "holds a hard ground, / empty trees, / the wind in lonely places. It shivers with the shining stars / It thinks it might / just / sleep." The deceptively easy phrasings strike a chord; even when the words are joyful, there's still a poignant undertone. Siegel explains in a note that he spent many hours walking around at night to capture the "astonishing and complex face" nature reveals at night. And capture it he does, in shades of blue, green, purple, gray, and black, creating nights that shelter life and harbor the moon--in all its permutations. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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This is a fabulous pairing of writer and illustrator. They compliment each other perfectly. I enjoy this one as much as my granddaughter.
Most recent customer reviews
Helps them to learn the months of the year and who has a birthday in what month!