What does the moon do all day and all night? Laura Purdie Salas answers this question in her enchanting new picture book, If You Were the Moon. Cheerfully personified, the moon, spends its days and nights engaged in many familiar activities of childhood and displays many familiar moods. A spirited moon plays “dodgeball with space rocks” and peak-a-boo with Earth. The moon is helpful when it “lights a pathway to the sea” for sea turtle hatchlings. Salas also casts the moon as joyous, inspiring, and loving. When the moon sings “Earth a silver lullaby,” children will want to climb into bed to hear its song.
Jaime Kim’s whimsical illustrations capture these different moods by creating a wonderfully expressive moon. The magical quality of the book is enhanced by a scattering of what could be stardust over every page.
For all its playfulness, If You Were the Moon is grounded in facts. On each page, Salas included informational paragraphs, written in clear, child-friendly language to describe the moon’s phases and tidal effects, theories about how the moon was formed, and more. There is a brief glossary, as well as suggestions for further reading.
This book is a must-have for any PreK or early elementary classroom. The spare, poetic text is a perfect mentor for children’s writing, and the factual portions of the book will generate many questions. A comprehensive Educators Guide is available here, and a treasure-trove of other goodies can be found here. If You Were the Moon will spark the imaginations of all who read it.
Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, Lisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts. Also, please be sure to visit Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers for more book recommendations.