Readers will be drawn here first to newcomer Turley's paintings: oil pastels more dazzling than Mexican folk art that depict a stylized southwestern landscape. There lives Ray, an inquisitive orange armadillo who contemplates the moon. Puzzled by the lunar phases, he asks the desert's creatures to explain the moon's many shapes. Each comes up with a myth that reflects its own concerns: The snakes see a snake that coils and unwinds, the prairie dogs see the door of a burrow, etc. Finally, the owl provides the facts, which Ray accepts in his brain but not in his heart. The complete scientific story is provided in an afterword that most readers will simply skip in favor of the more fanciful tales. In his first book, Beifuss's text is somewhat wordy, but its point is simple and accessible, its protagonist endearing, and the vibrancy of the illustrations silences debate over minor details.