A mountain family spends a day together in imaginative play.
Through beautifully detailed silhouettes, Rice offers an unfolding tableau of charming, evocative scenes in which a bored little girl begs her mother to leave her sewing and make a moon from “secondhand stardust, and leftover love.” Her little brother, the dog and even the animals from the holler get involved in the effort to hang the moon “in the heavens, from star steps of love.” The artist’s skill is evident in the well-designed pages. Some silhouettes are presented in traditional black-on-white style, some against colored backdrops, but all are crafted with attention to bringing out the joy of the family members as they cavort in the assembly of real and imagined ingredients from Mama’s recipe. But while the art is appealing and will invite repeated viewings of the pages, the story is less successful. It’s whimsical and rhythmic—Rice is a songwriter—but the syrupy message doesn’t provide quite enough of a storyline to match the quality of the art.
For those who appreciate a touch of nostalgia and old-fashioned family values. (Picture book. 4–7)