The Boy and the Moon is a delightful children's story,
simply told and beautifully illustrated. In this first children's
book written and illustrated by Jim Carroll, he describes his artwork
as similar to collage, using mediums such as sand, tree bark, and
hair. This is a very clever way to introduce a new style of artwork
to a child, perhaps even using this book as a springboard for collage
projects of your own.
The storyline follows a small child at midnight, going into the
yard to howl at the moon and dance with creature-friends: an owl,
a rabbit, a flower, a toad, a chicken, and a dog. The night of
dancing and howling goes awry, however, when the moon gets stuck
in a tree. It takes a stroke of courage from the boy to climb the
tree and a lot of creativity to figure out how to get the moon
out of the tree. Good character traits are seen in this little
boy, as he exemplifies not only courage and creativity but also
diligence and kindness.
The pages are large, full of color and texture, and brimming with
detail. Mostly single-page artwork fills the book, but the occasional
two-page layouts are truly the crowning achievement. They really
draw the eye and grab a child's attention. Largely due to the collage
method of artwork, there is great depth in each picture. The colors
are muted, portraying midnight beautifully, with rare pops of red
on the boy's pajamas, the tree's apples, and the flower's petals.
A whimsical house reminds me that the boy is just outside his home,
and I long to look inside to see where he lives--this boy who loves
to howl at the moon at midnight.
The Boy and the Moon makes a great bedtime story for
any age child, as well as a great discussion piece for art class.
My toddler son loves the illustrations, especially the contrasts
between light and darkness. I have no reservations about this book.
The price tag of $15.00 seems a little high to me, but the quality
of the pages really is superb. While it seems a bit expensive for
such a short, simple story, the artwork is what gives the book
its life--and artwork can definitely be worth the investment.
While I would not want The Boy and the Moon to encourage
my child to run barefoot outside at midnight to howl at the moon
and climb apple trees, the whimsy of the story and the incredible
illustrations really make this a desirable book, fun to read over
and over--which is exactly what my own boy likes to do.