The moon’s beneficent presence prompts reassuring aspirations.
As if chanting a lyrical mantra, the unnamed narrator introduces a series of wishes with the repeated phrase, “If I were the moon.” As the moon, the narrator envisions painting “ripples of light on wet canvas,” “shimmer[ing] over dreams of snow,” “wax[ing] and wan[ing] over the Earth’s troubles,” and bringing “peaceful sleep for worried hearts.” The language is flowing and soporific, the repetition of “moon” slow and soothing. Finally, as the moon, the narrator would “become big and bright” with love to shine on readers. Loose, vibrant illustrations done in mixed media, including drawing inks and colored pencils, provide visual grounding for the abstract text. Using broad, fluid brush strokes, Pavlovic loosely spreads luminous washes of color to create moonstruck nocturnal scenes. The moon appears somewhere in each double-page spread, smiling and shining on fish and whales in the sea, polar bears on ice, burdened humans crossing a landscape, city cats afoot, wolves howling, and so forth. Animals depicted are slightly anthropomorphized, often smiling back at the moon. The moon’s influence can perhaps most strikingly be seen in a picture of a long line of displaced people trudging sadly along, but one babe on mother’s back is smiling in their sleep.
A soothing, comforting lunar lullaby calibrated for bedtime sharing. (Picture book. 4-7)