A visual feast cannot compensate for lackluster plotting in this first installment of a new mega-series that involves picture books, chapter books and (of course) a movie.
There are guardians of children everywhere that strive to keep kids safe from harm. Of these, the first was MiM, The Man in the Moon. Born to a loving family with a guardian named Nightlight to keep him safe from bad dreams, MiM’s untainted sleep attracts the unwanted attention of Pitch, the King of Nightmares. When MiM’s family and brave Nightlight perish in an attack, MiM lives out the rest of the days inside his family’s ship (our own moon). Once grown, he determines to protect the children of nearby Earth and calls upon folks like Santa Claus, Mother Goose and the Tooth Fairy to join him in this goal. Joyce’s prowess as an illustrator is undeniable, and this may well be his most ambitious, marvelous-looking title to date. Only a sure and meticulous hand could conjure up such luscious lunar moths and battling constellations. Sadly, the storytelling cannot live up to the visual presentation. Feeling more like an introductory tale than a full-blooded story in its own right, the old-fashioned–feeling narrative fails to find a plot.
Here's hoping that future installments in this ambitious series will spend less time on back story and more on story line. (Picture book. 5-9)