Sunday, December 9, 2018

Review - I'll Follow the Moon

I'll Follow the Moon
by Stephanie Lisa Tara
illustrated by Lee Edward Födi
Date: 2005
Publisher: Wee Words LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book

On a quiet, moonlit beach, a baby green sea turtle stirs from a dream of home. Slowly, slowly, with a tap, click, crack, the baby turtle embarks upon a mysterious nighttime journey. Gentle, tender verse and enchanting illustrations carry this tranquil tale from sand to sea.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book has been kicking around in my Kindle library for a while, so I thought I'd read it and cross it off the list. I'm honestly baffled as to why it has such high reviews. Aside from the gentle rhythm and repetition that would make it a good bedtime read (I found it a bit of a soporific myself), this book doesn't have much to recommend it. The pictures are just okay, and the whole premise is flawed.

This is a very unrealistic depiction of baby sea turtles. The reality is far more brutal and depressing, and I have my doubts as to whether this subject could even be turned into a decent children's book while still remaining factual. The baby turtle hatches in the sand, and from there is driven toward the sea, guided by the moon, to find its mother. The problem is, sea turtles (from the information I could find) are pretty much crappy parents. They lay their eggs, and then have to go recover for a year. They don't raise their kids, or even have happy reunions with them in the water. In fact, many of the babies will get picked off by predators before they even make it off the sand. Maybe 1 or 2 in a thousand survive to sexual maturity. (See what I mean about this being questionable subject matter for a feel-good children's book?)

Also, this has nothing to do with the actual text of the story, but I noticed that in all the accompanying text (author bios, reviews, etc.) the word "it's" was continually used as a possessive, as if someone had gone through and edited every instance of "its", thinking it was a mistake. Like I said, it has nothing to do with the story... but I found it really irksome. This is basic English grammar, and I would expect better from an author who makes picture books for a living.

So, overall, I wasn't impressed. I wouldn't give this to a child, because it seems like lying. A baby sea turtle's life is precarious... and this book just glosses over all the danger for the purposes of a saccharine story.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.43 out of 5

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