Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Review - A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little Star
by Grace Lin
Date: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A gorgeous picture book that tells a whimsical origin story of the phases of the moon, from award-winning, bestselling author-illustrator Grace Lin

Pat, pat, pat...

Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.

Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble?

In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is really cute and really different. It's a short, sweet (pun intended) take on an origin story about the phases of the moon. Little Star and her mother bake a Big Mooncake and the mother hangs it up in the sky and tells her daughter not to touch it. But, of course, Little Star can't sleep and thinks of nothing but going back for another nibble. Surely her mother won't notice if she just has a little bit of the Big Mooncake. But, eventually, the Big Mooncake is whittled away until it's nothing but crumbs sparkling in the sky, and mother and daughter have to bake another one.

The illustrations are really unique; I don't think I've ever seen anything like them in a children's book before. The backgrounds are all black to represent the night sky, and since Little Star and her mother are dressed in black as well, the only way we can see their bodies is because their outfits are covered in stars. I thought that was a neat touch. The pages showing Little Star eating her way through the phases of the moon (from full moon to new moon) are quite cute. If I have one complaint at all, it's that the story doesn't explain the phases of the moon going the other way (which would require a growing mooncake); kids might not take issue with that, though... and if they do, it's a good excuse to have a discussion about how the moon waxes and wanes.

Overall, this is a strong picture book with a different sort of aesthetic. I'd definitely recommend this one!

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.17 out of 5

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