Age Range: 4 - 8
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In a heartfelt story from Jones, a moonlit night and a tambourine link the past and present for a little girl and her grandfather. While walking home one night, Noni is fearful about the way the city looks in the dark. To comfort her, Grandaddy tells her the story of how he met his wife, Grandma Ismay, on an even darker night back in Alabama. He was on his way home and came across a church where the choir was practicing. One voice was so strong and clear that he just had to wait for the doors of the church to open after practice so he could see the singer. He walked Ismay home, then found himself on the dark path alone, still carrying her tambourine. As often happens in family stories, a little magic has worked itself into the telling over the years; the tambourine trembled in his hand, then leaped into the sky, lighting it up with a honeyed glow, and he was no longer afraid. Noni accepts that the full moon they face now is that tambourine from long ago, and the city skyline has become a more welcoming place. Widener’s illustrations capture the slate colors of the night sky, while his subdued tones in the city and country scenes turn the moon into a radiant lunar nightlight. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-80648-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999