Third in the Peek-Through Picture Books series that includes Tree (2016) and Bee (2017), this volume employs die cuts to explore the phases of the moon.
Starting with the crescent on the cover, the orb waxes until it is full, about halfway through the book. Along the way, Teckentrup’s digitally manipulated handmade collages reveal the beauty and variety found in nocturnal settings around the globe. She depicts the flora and fauna of the ocean, tundra, savanna, desert, and other biomes. Some creatures gaze up at the sky; others stare out at readers. In each scene, a few animals shimmer in the illumination, while the shadows contain hidden surprises. The author’s rhyming text includes well-chosen language that delights the ear and scans reasonably well: “A scorpion scuttles through the night, / Glowing with an eerie light.” Curiously, the sequence of views after the full moon includes a “new” (nearly invisible) moon—and then the full moon again—before moving through the waning stages. Since this is not the actual progression one would witness, this is potentially confusing. Perhaps the decision results from a design challenge related to the die cuts, but while this is obviously not marketed as a science book, the choice is nevertheless unfortunate, since the changes to the moon’s appearance are the book’s focus. The cycle should be accurate.
An engaging if flawed title. (Picture book. 2-5)