CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 12 . . . .February 8, 2008
Yellow Moon, Apple Moon.
Pamela Porter. Illustrated by Matt James.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi, 2008.
32 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
Preschool-grade 1 / Birth-age 6.
Review by Gregory Bryan.
Yellow Moon, Apple Moon,
Time to sleep. See you soon.
Here's my house, my swing, my tree.
Here's my window, my bed and me.
Yellow Moon, Apple Moon is the latest book by Pamela Porter—the poet who enjoyed phenomenal success with the Governor General's Award winning book, The Crazy Man. While The Crazy Man was for mature middle school and high school readers, Yellow Moon, Apple Moon is best suited to youngsters from birth through to the early elementary grades.
Yellow Moon, Apple Moon is a bedtime rhyme in which a young child says goodnight to the moon. Clad in a bright red sleeper with potty flap, the wild-haired story protagonist is an endearing character. Both text and illustrations reflect an energetic, life-loving child.
Matt James has provided the artwork for Yellow Moon, Apple Moon. James' illustrations greatly enhance the book, magnifying the colourful and whimsical elements contained within Porter's text. The illustrations were created with acrylic and India ink and have a texture and fluidity highly suggestive of the vibrancy and energetic movement of a young child. The colour palette and swirling colours are reminiscent of Van Gogh, and this seems deliberately so, given the text lines, "There's my house, / the starry night."
In the main text verse, extracts are inserted from the New Mexican lullaby, At the Gates of Heaven. At book's end, the sheet music and lullaby lyrics are included, featuring both English and Spanish text. It is a nice addition that complements the melodic, calming bedtime storybook.
Parents and children will enjoy sharing this book as little ones are nudged gently toward sleep. Some adult readers will be reminded of Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight, Moon and will, perhaps, be reminded of their own sweet childhood experiences falling asleep to the sound of parents reading from that classic book. Yellow Moon, Apple Moon is likely to create similarly lasting and pleasant memories.
Gregory Bryan, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, teaches children's literature in the Faculty of Education, at the University of Manitoba.
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