Monday, April 27, 2009

The Moon

Emmy is fascinated by the moon. She loves to look up into the night sky and find out what phase it is in or in her words "What shape is the moon today?" She laughs and laughs when the moon can be seen in the morning. "Mommy, the moon is supposed to be sleeping right now. Silly moon. Time for night-night!"

One of our favorite books about the moon is Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle. It is an absolutely delightful story about a little girl and her daddy. I am always drawn to a father/daughter book as there aren't many of them out there. As a long time follower of Eric Carle's work, I am always very excited to share his books with Emmy. With fold out pages and a pop out moon, Emmy just loves reading "Papa get the moon." Using tissue paper to create collages which are then glued to paper board, Eric Carle's illustrations seem to jump off the pages. Having tissue paper in your child's art area at home is a must. Given many oppotunities to cut and paste, your child will soon be creating wonderful creatures that he or she can write about just like Eric Carle. If you haven't included Eric Carle books in your child's book collection, please do so as they will be treasured for years and years to come. For more information on Eric Carle and his books check out his official website and if picture book art is something you'd like to see more of, plan a trip to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts. Click here to find out more.

Another wonderful book about the moon is I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis with illustrations by Allison Jay. With poetic charm, Curtis allows the reader to step into a boy's imaginative outing with the moon. "I took the Moon for a walk last night/It followed behind like a still summer kite,/Though there wasn't a string or a tail in sight/when I took the Moon for a walk."

Allison Jay is an artist who truly understands the fun that can be had in a book for children. Jay's trademark oil paintings with their crackled finish reveal charming details not mentioned in the verse. For instance, the illustration for "I warned the Moon to rise a bit higher/ so it wouldn't get hooked on a church's tall spire." shows the moon losing one of its red slippers, when it bumps into the church's steeple, which the boy recovers in the next spread. Each verse ends dependably with the same eight words "When I took the moon for a walk." Adding to the appeal of this book are the notes at the end of the story containing facts about the moon's phases as well as nocturnal animals. Children truly are fanciful and imaginative beings and it is important to honor that, but just as important is to honor their 'here and now' personality by immersing them in what they can see, hear, smell, taste and feel in the world around them. When choosing books for your child, be sure to include pieces of non-fiction that display what your child can find in his or her own backyard.

An additional plug for Allison Jay! ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book and Picture This are two of Emmy's earliest books and are still favorites today. I just love the way Jay's illustrations tell a complete story. Each time we reread these books, we discover something new and exciting to talk about. Another one of Jay's books, If Kisses Were Colors, I bought awhile ago and need to take off of the shelf and share with Emmy. I also keep meaning to add 1,2,3: A Child's First Counting Book to Emmy's collection. If I haven't mentioned before, I am a collector of children's books and love to collect many books by a single author or illustrator and Allison Jay is a definite must for me!

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