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LONG NIGHT MOON by Cynthia Rylant

LONG NIGHT MOON

By Cynthia Rylant (Author) , Mark Siegel (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85426-9
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Rylant takes the evocative trope of the First Peoples’ naming of the full moons of the year and turns it into a quiet meditation on time and nature. Siegel is just in tune with her words, his charcoal, pencil and pastel drawings fill the pages with shadows, each lit by a brilliant full moon. He pans around a rural setting: a gazebo with a mother and child, a house with a single bright window, huge old trees, fields, fence, road. Month by month, readers see moonlight picking out a particular thing: skunks’ white stripes or the tips of new grasses. These lovely images echo Rylant’s gentle prose: “In April / the Sprouting Grass Moon brings / all wanderers back home. / Baby birds love this moon. / It lights their tiny heads.” In each spread, while Siegel evokes landscape and fauna in deep blues, grays, black and brown, the moon looms with an unearthly glow. The Long Night Moon is December’s: “The faithful moon. / This one is your friend,” whispers the mother into the hair of her babe, as they stand in the gazebo wrapped in woolies and stars once again. (Picture book. 4-8)