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Willoughby & the Moon Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 4, 2010
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—In this follow-up to Willoughby & the Lion (HarperCollins, 2009), Foley offers another stunning visual look into a child's imagination. This time, Willoughby struggles to go to sleep because the moon has disappeared and the night is too dark. Perplexed and a bit frightened, he sees a light coming from his closet and, inside, discovers the moon with a giant snail on it, looking for his lost silver ball. The search for the ball leads the duo through all the moon's nooks and crannies and eventually back to the security of Willoughby's own bed. In the tradition of Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955) and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (1963, both HarperCollins), this story wholeheartedly buys into a child's imagined world as an escape from an uncertain reality. But truly it is the illustrations that shine. The two-tone pictures layer black and silver ink in vibrant Pop-style line drawings over digital prints to transport readers into Willoughby's dark world, where he searches for light. The level of detail in the snail's map of the moon alone sets the book above most of its bedtime-story contemporaries. Foley's latest is a must-have addition to the canon of stories of little boys struggling to go to sleep.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Foley’s follow-up to Willoughby & the Lion (2009) is every bit as luminous—and that’s meant literally. With blacks so absolute they shine, and silvers so shimmering they practically act as mirrors, the book is a visual dazzler. Willoughby wonders where the waning moon has gone to before discovering it inside of his closet, along with a giant snail that has lost his ball. Much of the book’s charm is that none of this weirdness is explained, and soon Willoughby is racing all over the moon on a search that ends in a serious game of snail-ball. Bizarre, idiosyncratic, and sure to be adored by the right kind of kid. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus
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To say the illustrations here are luminous really doesn't do them justice. The blacks are the blacks of deepest space and the silvers are even brighter than the shiniest moon. I first read this book under a really bright light and had lots of trouble because the pictures are so reflective. The text remains easy to read even with all of this grayscale, with the exception of one page showing a map of the inside of the moon. Just a slight difficulty though. When read under a bit dimmer light, more of the shadows and levels of gray and silver are revealed, making this an absolutely perfect bedtime read.
While this may be considered an unconventional choice - let's face it, it doesn't look like anything else out there right now, it is a great achievement that I would encourage you to get and experience for yourself. I know this will appeal to many small adventurers who will look upon this story as confirmation of what they knew all along: All kinds of exciting things can be found in your closet, and just maybe there really are snails on the moon who love a good game of catch.