In this atmospheric version of the author’s prizewinning short film, a lad woos—and ultimately wins—the Moon.
Strangely, in the film, the story is revealed at the end to be an allegorical take on a more earthly pursuit, but here, Alaimo tells it straight. His heart captured by the Moon, a lonely boy endures “a long and arduous journey upward” (not depicted) to offer her a rose. She rejects that gift, as well as the pearl that he fetches from the sea and the diamond eye he intrepidly cuts from a dragon. Ignoring an old man’s warning that she would transform him forever, he finally ties the Moon in place until she beholds “the beauty of the colors of the day” and so accepts him at last. Except for the climactic daylight spread, the illustrations, drawn from the film, feature a boy, the big crescent Moon, and other shadowy figures lit in pale gold against dark backdrops of equally dim stars. Over and above the bondage bit, not only is the original’s plotline significantly altered and shortened, but two scenes—one showing the lad planning his final ploy and the other of a threatening shadow—are confusingly jammed together.
In video and on paper, the art casts an evocative glow, but the story is much changed and the transition from one medium to the other, awkwardly accomplished. (Picture book. 6-8)