A lad bent on giving his mother the Moon discovers that it’s hard—but not impossible—to reach.
Briére-Haquet begins by noting with unassailable logic that “[b]ecause he is small, [Peter] is not very tall.” She stands him atop a rising pyramid of his father, his friends, helpful local people and more—to all of whom he promises a piece of the moon once he reaches it. Eventually, frustrated and thinking that the widespread distribution wouldn’t leave much to give his mother anyway, he stalks around the world to cool off and then decides to give it one more try. Success! And the Moon turns out to be much bigger than he had supposed. The narrative is written in free verse laced with internal and partial rhymes. It floats over rolling, canted crowd scenes of stylized babushkas and others in baggy, patterned clothing, who lean into one another and reach upward to help Peter on his way. If the print is a bit hard to make out on darker spreads and Chauffrey’s Moon resembles a roast wrapped in brown paper and string netting, still the painted art’s visual rhythms match the text for quirky energy. Mutual adoration between mother and child shines out in a final cozy cuddle.
“[W]e have only one mother,” the author concludes (true in most cases, at least). “The moon is the very least that we can offer her!” (Picture book. 5-8)