Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Review - The Moon Shines Down

The Moon Shines Down

by Margaret Wise Brown & Laura Minchew
illustrated by Linda Bleck
Date: 2008
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

Forgotten for decades in a dusty, tucked-away trunk, "The Moon Shines Down" brings to life once more the unmistakable voice of Margaret Wise Brown. This soon-to-be classic allows a whole new generation of children to discover, cherish, and enjoy the artistry of this beloved author.

Never before published, "The Moon Shines Down" on children all over the world from right next door to across the sea, from where a Dutch boy dreams and cowbells ring to across the sea in the Far, Far East, through the familiar prayer:

I see the Moon
And the Moon sees me.
God bless the Moon,
And God bless me.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Books like this make me think that, if were ever to achieve any level of fame, I would want to make sure I destroyed any half-finished manuscripts that I'd abandoned because they were complete rubbish. I would not want someone publishing them to try to make a quick buck.

The Moon Shines Down is pretty cringeworthy. It's dated as hell, with a Western slant that's rather off-putting. Laura Minchew may have tried to ameliorate some of the problems when she added some new text to the pages about the Far East and Africa to add a bit more specificity, but the book still refers to Africa as a country, and the Western countries each get their own stanza while the non-Western regions have to share some generalized poetry. The book also features some pretty stereotypical depictions of all the countries, which is disappointing.

I'm not a fan of the rhyming text here. It's clumsy, with little consistency in the metre. It focuses mostly on children, except near the end, where we're inexplicably praying for sea creatures. Why just sea creatures? No idea.

The illustrations are cute, even if what they're depicting is a bit problematic. But I don't understand why a koala is visiting all of these different countries, including Australia... since Australia is in the middle of the book. Wouldn't it have made more sense to start with Australia and show the koala setting off on his journey?

I don't know. This was just a bit weird. Books that are published posthumously are rarely any good... especially when they've been tinkered with by other people.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.43 out of 5

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