A young boy climbs a mountain to the Magic Moon in this children’s picture book.
The titular Moon will grant visitors two requests during their lifetimes—to find a lost treasure and to receive something good that won’t hurt anyone. A young white boy makes the journey and gets his first answer: His sister’s lost dolly is behind the woodpile. At school, a new student is ostracized and teased, but the protagonist plays with him, enjoying his invention involving a ball and a peach basket. The boy later climbs the mountain to ask the Magic Moon for “the secret of happiness.” But the Moon tells the boy that he already knows, reminding him of how he felt helping his sister and the new kid at school. His second trek isn’t wasted, though. The Moon says: “The difficult journey makes the happiness found at the end sweeter!” Debut author Moulton gives her Magic Moon an interestingly challenging personality with a booming voice, sometimes making jokes, sometimes oracular. This characterization rescues the story as a whole from becoming too syrupy while still getting the message across. Young basketball lovers will enjoy the veiled references to that game’s origins. Whitchurch’s painted illustrations are somewhat crude in style, but they’re varied and nicely composed.
A message book with a bit of mystery.