MOONLIGHT & SHADOW by Elisabeth Jones


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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A young horse, Moonlight, is introduced to his shadow in this take on the familiar theme of facing one’s fear. The little gray horse plays happily in his field, but when night falls and brings with it a new blanket of snow, a bigger black horse appears. Moonlight tries to run away, only to find that the darker horse, Shadow, follows him closely. When Moonlight finally faces the black horse, he discovers that he has not come across an enemy after all, but rather a loyal friend. The duo of Jones and Coplestone (Sunshine and Storm, not reviewed) seem a bit mismatched however. The sensitive and beautifully textured watercolors are as unexpected and fresh as the story is predictable. The palette of blues, blacks, and whites are deliciously highlighted with a soft pink on the horse’s nose or the tip of his tail. Readers will find pleasure just lingering on the shape and shades of blue of each shimmering snowflake. Though the point of the story feels a bit stale, the pacing moves it forward and keeps the audience engaged. Some of the more complex verses, such as “It was though everything which stood tall was dreaming it could lie down and sleep. Caught between the moonlight and the snow these dreams could be seen,” attempt to rise to the heights of the exquisite images, but might prove too abstract for young minds. Still, the story is ultimately satisfying and the lesson learned will always strike a chord in those trying to overcome their fears. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-929927-42-8
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002