A pleasing children’s narrative with a relevant message.

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In Cobb’s latest children’s book, the moon, envious of a world he never gets to experience, makes an unusual proposition.

Mr. Moon is tired of missing out on things. While he sleeps, the world comes alive under the shining gaze of Mr. Sun. Children play, flowers blossom and people happily go about their business. Saddened by this, Mr. Moon decides to stay awake one entire day and join Mr. Sun on his journey across the sky. The jovial Mr. Sun is sympathetic toward the poor moon’s feelings, but he makes a cogent point: While he, the sun, is asleep, the moon enjoys an entirely different world. Mr. Sun never gets to see a baseball game being played late into the night or enjoy the colorful explosion of fireworks in the night sky. He never sees the nighttime animals like the raccoon or the owl, and he never sees children trick-or-treating on Halloween. He tells Mr. Moon that it’s perfectly all right by him if he stays but that he should think about what he’s told him. Not surprisingly, upon reflection, Mr. Moon agrees that it’s best if he goes to sleep so that he can be ready to greet the world and all its splendor at night. Cobb (Daniel Dinosaur, 2012) will likely delight and instruct children with this charming tale. The message is loud and clear: Although the grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, it’s far better to love and appreciate the life one already has. Many young children may have mixed feelings about nighttime, a time of unwanted bedtime and imaginary monsters hiding in dark bedroom closets. However, Jaeger’s illustrations give the night a soft, beautiful glow, complementing Cobb’s text and simultaneously convincing both Mr. Moon and the reader that nighttime is a magical time. Her personifications of Mr. Moon and Mr. Sun are utterly delightful; perhaps the most amusing page in the book features a sad-faced Mr. Moon attempting to fruitlessly blow a dangling kite as the children are tucked in their beds. Cobb’s text is less notable but has a simple charm likely to please young readers and should be light and easy enough for children to enjoy in one sitting—perhaps even just before bedtime.

A pleasing children’s narrative with a relevant message.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463619190

Page Count: 36

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013


From the Who's in Your Book? series

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017


From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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