Children who have their own bedrooms must face that moment each night when they feel utterly alone; the time before sleep may seem endless.
This thoughtful young protagonist strikes up a conversation with the moon: “Can we talk? I get lonely down here sometimes. What I want to know is….” His questions run the gamut from the moon’s taste in games, food and animals to its range of vision. Can the smiling countenance see inside people’s homes or into the ocean’s depths? Reflecting on his own situation, the boy wonders if the moon has friends—and, in a kindly gesture, offers to listen anytime. Composed with an abundance of reassuring, rounded shapes and images high on the child-appeal scale (pirates, ice cream cones, playgrounds), Cort’s acrylic scenes contrast the predominately cool, blue nighttime environment with a variety of warm greens punctuated by bursts of orange. Prominent among these is the child’s striped cat, which appears as a playful and comforting presence throughout, and the identically colored tiger who saunters out of the bushes when named as a favorite. The questions Simon has her protagonist pose—by turns spirited, playful and genuinely sweet—signal understanding of and respect for a child’s emotional and intellectual capacities.
Judging from all the childhood insomnia out there, there can never be too many bedtime stories, especially when they model a strategy as successful as this one. (Picture book. 3-6)