A parent-child pair observes the coming of night and the reactions of various (mostly domesticated) animals and their offspring.
MacLachlan uses a simple four-line rhyme scheme and intensifies the lulling quality of her text by starting the first six stanzas with the title sentence: “The moon’s almost here.” The lines that follow describe the animals settling down and/or heading home in their pastoral setting. As the moon begins to rise, the pattern of the rhyme stays the same (abcb), but the first line varies and the tone increases in intimacy. From “out in the meadow,” where "the fireflies blink bright," to “my bed,” where a little kitten curls up cozily, then back into the night to greet the moon, the voice becomes the child’s. DePaola’s acrylic paintings in his signature style depict the parent figure as a white-faced, pantomime Pierrot, accompanied by a ginger-haired, preschool-sized white child of indeterminate gender. Subtle shadings of color capture the magical changes brought on by the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon. Stylized shapes turn leaves and flowers into appealing patterns, while the white clothing of parent and child seems to glow against the darkening background. While the illustrations are undeniably lovely and the words flow smoothly and soothingly, however, overall this seems slight and somewhat predictable.
A beautiful but minor effort from two immensely talented creators. (Picture book. 3-6)