Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown

Developed from a manuscript lost for decades, the story behind the story of this book is almost better than the book itself. Margaret Wise Brown, author of such beloved children's classics as Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, left behind this manuscript (and others) in a cedar trunk. Now 56 years after her death, The Moon Shines Down was finished by children's book publisher Laura Minchew.

Though there are rough patches in some of the verses, children are unlikely to notice the problems with the rhythm. The illustrations are sure to please children and adults alike, and helped me overlook the issues with the text. One note- the illustrations bear no resemblance to those of Wise Brown’s classic books, so readers hoping to recapture that era may be disappointed.

Because of the frequent mention of God, this book would not be appropriate for many settings; teachers looking for classroom books may want to check this book out of the library for review before making a final decision on purchase.

All in all, this is a wonderful addition to the Wise Brown canon. The charming rhymes and glimpses of children around the world make for a lovely global message of a bedtime story.

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