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SIDNEY, STELLA, AND THE MOON by Emma Yarlett

SIDNEY, STELLA, AND THE MOON

By Emma Yarlett (Author) , Emma Yarlett (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6623-1
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

A slim, didactic text is somewhat redeemed by lively, inventive illustrations.

Stella and Sidney are twins and playmates whose momentary tussle over a bouncy ball leads to a surprising dead-on blow to the full moon in the sky and the children’s search for a replacement for the moon. Each spread is filled with Yarlett’s intriguing digital art, with small details, hints of collage, some hand-lettering throughout and plenty of kinetic perspectives. A double gatefold (Sidney and Stella’s front door) opens to a crowded street scene where the suddenly absent moon is big news, with missing posters, vendors with moon balloons and bewildered astronauts among the multitudes. Weaknesses in the textual narrative seem like the result of trying to do too many things. The hand-lettered caption “[f]eeding the quacks*” in the opening double-page illustration of the pair throwing bread into a pond is accompanied by the explanatory “*ducks” just below—but as the protagonists turn out to be older than toddlers and the silliness isn’t repeated, the humor seems flat. Readers are quizzed rhetorically about “one thing that Stella and Sidney did not do together.” “I wonder what that could be?” leads to telling, barely showing, that the twins “did not SHARE.”

Yawn. Skip the text and stick with the illustrations—the result is more entertaining. (Picture book. 4-7)