An imaginative nighttime romp for pre-readers.
British author/illustrator Sharpe’s white, gender-indeterminate protagonist finds the feline Mr. Moon a couch potato and rather reluctant playmate by day. Though Mr. Moon mostly prefers to nap “during hide-and-seek, passes out on puzzles, dozes during adventure stories, and never makes polite conversation at tea parties,” at day’s end he is still “a very good bedtime companion,” curling up in a ball on the bed and doing what he seems to do best: sleep. But on this particular night, Mr. Moon leaps up as the protagonist drifts off, leading them both on a fantastical journey through ivy-printed wallpaper to a magical nocturnal realm where playful creatures animate a formal garden with a hedgerow maze, fountains, and exotic topiary. In Sharpe’s cartoonlike, minty green–and-blue–hued, screen-printed illustrations, happy fauns, cherubs, and mermaids frolic in the moonlight, playing chess and badminton and fishing. They’re basically all the activities Mr. Moon declines by day, including enjoying “books about adventures” and especially “a good TEA PARTY!” With simple declarative statements and soothing word repetition, Sharpe’s clever inversion of Mr. Moon’s daytime behavior provides readers and young listeners with refreshing license to dream and give the imagination free rein, extending a welcome invitation to create the world one wishes to see.
Warm and uplifting, Sharpe’s inspiring debut proves a heartfelt addition to the bedtime shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)