Tag Archives: Moon

PPBF – Aliana Reaches for the Moon

I don’t often have the pleasure of introducing an about-to-be-published book to readers, but sometimes the moon and stars align (pun intended), and today is one of those days.

Title: Aliana Reaches for the Moon

Written By: Laura Roettiger

Illustrated By: Ariel Boroff

Publisher/Date: Eifrig Publishing/February 2019

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: STEAM; family; moon; creativity

Opening:

Aliana lives in the Rocky Mountains, where the night sky holds more stars than you can dream of and the moon shimmers like gold.

Brief Synopsis:

Aliana uses scientific knowledge and everyday objects to create the perfect birthday present for her younger brother.

Links to Resources:

Why I Like this Book:

Aliana Reaches for the Moon features a spunky young scientist who experiments to find just the right birthday present for her beloved younger brother. I love how Aliana researched the moon, prisms and light, and then put that research into practice by repurposing everyday objects, including bottles from the recycling bin, into an experience her brother would never forget. I think kids will enjoy following along with Aliana as she experiments. I particularly appreciate that Aliana “thought outside the box” and, in fact, used no kits to create her gift. I also love that her creation was a shared experience, rather than a material object. Finally, I love that Aliana’s family is Latinx, as evidenced in the illustrations and the terms she uses for her parents, Papá and Mamá, but that the story doesn’t raise difficult issues like discrimination or immigration, but rather celebrates creativity, acting as a mirror for young Latinx children that they, too, can reach for the moon.

Although the story’s climax and several other scenes occur at night, Boroff injects light to brighten these night scenes by adding light to the characters’ faces and by depicting them wearing light-colored clothing. Look for the orange family cat that adds a bit of whimsy to most spreads.

A Note about Craft:

At its heart, Aliana Reaches for the Moon is a book about a creative and science-loving young girl AND a loving family. In almost every scene, readers see Aliana researching and creating. They also see her as part of a loving family in which the parents put up with her messiness, younger brother Gus tags along to the library and to the treehouse, and Aliana uses her newly-gained knowledge and skills to create the perfect birthday present for Gus. I think by combining these layers, Roettinger creates a picture book that is more than the sum of its parts.

Visit Roettiger’s website to learn more about this debut picture book author, and read an interview with Roettiger on Susanna Hill’s Tuesday Debut to learn about the creation of Aliana Reaches for the Moon.

Visit Boroff’s website to see more of this debut illustrator’s work.

Eifrig Publishing is an independent publisher whose mission “is creating books that are good for our kids, good for our environment, and our good for our communities.”

I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!

Another Halloweensie Tale & Halloween Treats

At long last,  it’s time for the one and only, sixth-annual (and counting), 

Great Halloweensie Contest

(crowds of little people, and little-people lovers, cheer)

to wit, to write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words, children here defined as 12 and under), using the words spider, ghost, and moon.   And if you visit Susanna Hill’s blog, you’ll find more entries like the ones below (and many, many more that are better!).

Wait! “Ones below?”

Yep – I wrote two this year. After I learned on Sunday that *gasp* trick-or-treating is cancelled due to the outbreak of a rather nasty stomach bug in our school community, I was inspired to write the second story. Enjoy!

happy-halloween-2

 

Another Halloweensie Tale

(97 words)

“Another Halloweensie tale, please?”

“Just one, then bedtime…”

“Little Miss Muffet”

“So last century.”

“Sat on a Tuffet;”

“A tough-what?”

“Eating her curds and whey.”

“No way! Why not a Halloween treat?”

“A Milky Way, Mars Bar or Moon Pie!”

“Along came a spider…”

“The HERO!“

“Who sat down beside her…”

“SAT? We creep, climb, spin, but NEVER sit.”

“And frightened Miss Muffet a…”

“WAIT! One itsy, bitsy spider scared that curd-chewing, tuffet-sitting Hag?”

LOOK! That moonbeam shines right through her.  She’s pale as a

GHOST!!!”

“Creep! Climb! Spin! Up the Water Spout! Onto the Web!”

NOW!”

 
pspiderweb

Halloween Treats

(99 words)

Ghost clicked off the light and stacked her sheets. Spider unsnapped his web from the porch and rolled it into a ball. Witch doused the flames under her simmering brew as a cloud of bats blanketed the Moon.

“Another Halloween, and no trick-or-treaters braved our door,” Ghost sighed.

“We had tasty treats ready,” squeaked Spider.

“I guess we’ll have to wait another year,” Witch sniffled.

Moon struggled free from the bat wrappings. She lit a path towards town.

“Follow me!” Ghost exclaimed.

“Trick or treat,” the trio proclaimed. They delivered the tasty treats to costumed kids throughout the town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Grandfather Twilight

To celebrate Lunar New Year this upcoming Monday (8 February), I dusted off an older book that answers that age-old question, “Just how does the Moon get in the sky?”

 

 5902250Title: Grandfather Twilight

Written & Illustrated By: Barbara Berger

Philomel Books, 1984; reissued, Puffin Books, 1996

Suitable for Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: Moon; nature; origin myths; bedtime rituals
 

Opening: “Grandfather Twilight lives among the trees. When day is done, he closes his book, combs his beard, and puts on his jacket.”

Brief Synopsis: At day’s end, Grandfather Twilight strolls through the woods to deposit a pearly moon above the sea, and then returns to his home for bedtime.

Links to Resources: For younger children, a discussion of bedtime routines may lesson the battle that occurs in so many households (Grandfather Twilight blows out a candle to darken his room; how do we turn off the light, etc.). Older children could research the moon or create their own story of how it appears in the sky each night (or where it disappears when it isn’t visible in the sky). They also could try their hands at origin myths that explain other natural phenomena.

Why I Like this Book: This sparsely-worded, gorgeously-illustrated picture book is the perfect bedtime story for any child (or adult). Its slow pace and soft-hued illustrations (each gallery-worthy on its own) invite calm and engender feelings of security (a dog accompanies Grandfather on his journey, and that dog and a cat guard his sleep). Three completely wordless spreads plus seven other wordless pages evoke wonder and enchantment. Grandfather Twilight is the epitome of quiet books – a perfect antidote to our crazy world or an exhausting day with an over-stimulated toddler.

I also love the story, an origin myth, Barbara Berger shares in words and pictures. Her answer to how and why the moon appears is so reassuring, “Gently, he gives the pearl to the silence above the sea.” Somewhere, a grandfatherly gentleman cares; the moon appears. The reader and the young child listening know that all is as it should be.

Little wonder that Grandfather Twilight still resonates over 30 years after its first publication.

 
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!